Recreational centers provide the perfect setup for families and friends to meet and have fun. It can also have individual benefits such as promoting an active life, enhancing mental health and encouraging residents to lead a life of sustainability. In addition, your neighborhood can enjoy good air quality, reduced traffic and enhanced care for the environment such as water and wildlife preservation.
However, for your recreational center to be successful, it is important to create one that the local community will want to come to. Otherwise, it would be a waste of resources and frustrating to see the recreational center not benefiting the community. How can you do that?
Talk to the community
Your first step in creating a recreational center that your community is going to love is understanding the community needs. This will help you identify the gaps that are there, then you can create goals and strategies to fill them. One of the best ways to know what your community wants is to get down to the ground and talk to the people. You can conduct surveys; meet people where they gather such as religious centers and schools to sell your vision. Ask the people to give their suggestions and inputs to help you improve your vision. You can talk to the local government, business and community leaders to draw support and help you sell your vision to the people.
Study the demographic
In addition to speaking with your community, it is important to take a hard look at the demography of the area and their preferences. Since it can be difficult to talk to every member of the community, this can help you determine the features that most people will likely want in the recreational center. After this study, you might decide to have:
- A picnic area – If your community has social clubs, sports groups, and families, a picnic area would be ideal to offer a lovely place to gather and dine together. This would call for aesthetically pleasing and comfortable benches and picnic tables, park grills and trash receptacles.
- Playground, gym area, sports fields – If there is a need to attract families and corporates, a playground can be great for family fun and team-building activities. You can plan to have slides, swings, net climbers, zip lines, cheap chopper bicycles, and ride-on toy cars for kids and family fun. Gym equipment such as pull-up bars, chest press and more for the gym, basketball courts, and soccer fields for sports.
- Dog area – Are dog owners common in your community? They might want a recreational center that they can visit with their dogs. A dog area would feature climbers, hoops, tunnels, trash receptacles and more.
Compare with other recreational centers in the community
One of the best ways to improve a business is to look at what the competitors are doing. Likewise, finding out what other recreational centers in the community are offering can shed some light on what the community wants. Run a research on the web to find data that can be helpful in making decisions. A visit to these centers can also be helpful in gathering the information that you need.
If you are to consistently offer what your community wants, your best strategy is to keep track of the community’s changing needs. Consider investing in a good and reliable recreation center management solution. Focus on collecting data on your programming and offering as well as tracking activities and visitor’s feedback.
With updated data, you can tell which programs and activities are popular so you can capitalize on them. Additionally, feedback from the visitors can reveal weaknesses that you need to work on.
Give it routine care
No one will want to visit a recreation center where equipment is falling apart or the whole place is unkempt and littered. The process of creating a park that would appeal to your community includes having a maintenance schedule in place. Ensure that the place is clean, the bushes are trimmed, the landscape is impeccable, the litter cans are emptied and restrooms cleaned at all times. In addition, make sure that playground and gym equipment is well maintained. You want to ensure the safety of the visitors so they will want to come back.
A recreation center can bring health, environmental and economic benefits to a community. But, you will want to make sure that it is what the community genuinely wants. Talking to the community, looking at the demographic and studying other centers can provide insights on what the people want. Additionally, striving to keep improving and maintaining the center are crucial in constantly delivering what the community wants.