Your community’s fitness facility provides convenient, year-round fitness, health, and wellness opportunities for your constituents and neighbors at their local or regional park, recreation center, or other public facility. Your local citizens look to your facility for the best possible fitness solutions (and you look to stick to your municipality’s stringent budget parameters).
Also keep in mind that your local and regional park agencies have major, definitive economic impact, as well. Research from the National Recreation and Park Association’s Economic Impact Study conducted by the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University (GMU) in Virginia, “Shows that the nation’s local and regional parks are economic powerhouses in the U.S., creating nearly $140 billion in economic activity per year and supporting nearly 1 million jobs.”
For these reasons, your parks and your fitness facilities are significant parts of your community’s physical and financial health, well-being, and quality of life. The ongoing challenges most folks responsible for park fitness face are getting the community to realize the inherent connection between parks and wellness… and to keep people coming back to your center. Those connections will help keep funding coming in and people coming back to your facility.
Dealing with funding cuts and shortfalls
In the last few years, reports of municipalities cutting funding for public recreation facilities have become common. NRPA has noted that parks and recreation budgets are cut, in many cases, because they are not seen as essential, in comparison to police and fire services. So what do you do?
Some municipalities have had to cut hours and services. Others have teamed with private and other non-profits to make ends meet. But a really easy solution is to partner with a dependable equipment supplier that can work with you to outfit, upgrade, or update your fitness facility and maintain its operations within budget.
Keeping your community involved
Everyone seems to be looking for easy solutions to get healthy. Why aren’t people connecting the parks right outside their front door with the opportunity to stay fit? Maybe the reason is that they aren’t aware what’s available to them.
It’s your job to keep your constituents informed of all you offer, in terms of cardio and weight-related equipment, classes, and other options to stay fit.
Creating (or enhancing) a fitness facility at your municipal center should incorporate broadening your mission and reach. Sure, you have to include your residents. But you also have to communicate the benefits of community fitness to your local businesses and make their employees aware of all that you offer at your facility. Make them enthusiastic…and the fitness bug will be contagious (and sometime even amusing!).
For example, a friend was a member of a local community fitness facility that reached out and included many local businesses…including one clever funeral home that purchased memberships for their employees. These same employees were given t-shirts by their employer that involved them (and the local community) in fitness. The entertaining shirts, with the funeral home’s logo, said, “Exercise. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. We can wait!” It kept fitness center users talking, exercising, and laughing for months.
What does it take?
Today’s community fitness wellness center is a lot more than “just a gym.” Sure, it offers fitness equipment, but it adds the support and resources of the community. It keeps the community involved.
That why it takes carefully chosen, sturdy, easy to use fitness equipment to help your residents stay involved and coming back. Your community counts on your fitness fitness facility to deliver the tools to safely and effectively reach their goals.
With the right fitness equipment and assistance, users can develop a program that best suits their needs, whether they want to use weights and resistance machines to build muscle and strength or ellipticals, treadmills and exercise bikes to improve cardio.
You need specialized assistance to put together the right mix of equipment for your community facility. As your trusted and experienced partner, SOFITCO can help you design, up-date, and maintain your facility. Talk to SOFITCO to find out how we can help design or update your municipal fitness facility. And be sure to sign up now to get your free copy of 9 Ways to Select the Right Equipment for your Facility.