CLEARWATER, Fla., Aug. 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Parks play a vital role in communities – they impact health, real estate values, social outcomes, tourism generation, and the environment in a myriad of ways. However, quantifying and communicating the value of a park has been challenging for parks professionals across the country, so much so that parks and recreation department budgets have been among the slowest to rebound from the Great Recession of 2007-2009.
This week at the annual conference in Orlando, the Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA) introduced a tool that brings to life a vision that has the potential to transform parks and recreation funding decisions statewide. The project is the result of an 18-month collaboration between local government officials, state economists, members of the Centers for Disease Control and youth recreation sports industry leader, Sports Facilities Advisory (SFA). For communities across the state of Florida, future decisions to invest in parks and recreation assets will be powered by the FRPA Recreation and Parks Impact Calculator. The tool was developed with the mission to empower park and recreation professionals with valuable data and comprehensive reports that allow them to easily demonstrate the economic and social impacts of their park assets and programs. The Impact Calculator is the industry's first comprehensive tool of its kind.
"Through SFA's involvement in The Aspen Institute Project Play 2020, we came to recognize a gap in parks and recreation funding that had no real signs of changing. We have been producing forecasting models in the parks, recreation and sports marketplaces for years. At the same time, the leadership of the FRPA was researching the feasibility of creating an online resource to demonstrate the impact of the parks and recreation industry. It was a perfect alignment of two organizations to develop a game-changing tool for parks and recreation professionals and the industry. FRPA and the FRPA Foundation funded and selected SFA to help develop this new, powerful tool for FRPA members. It is designed to empower parks officials and advocates with valid data that expresses the social, economic, tourism, and real estate impacts of parks," said Dev Pathik, CEO of SFA.
"Never before has the parks and recreation space been able to accurately determine the value and overall impact of a local park with data-driven economic figures," says Eleanor Warmack, Executive Director of FRPA. "We now have a tool to help illustrate the importance and create advocates for the future of parks and recreation spaces for our communities."
SFA COO Evan Eleff said, "The opportunity to improve economic, health, and social outcomes through parks and recreation is real, demonstrable, and critical to the vitality of our communities. The Impact Calculator will change the dialogue around parks and recreation so that elected officials, key decision-makers, stakeholders, and citizens will clearly understand the impact of park spaces and programs and recognize that they are a fundamental element of healthy communities. We're excited to have powered this initiative in Florida and we're looking forward to expanding to other states in the near future."
"FRPA is thrilled to launch this much-awaited product," says 2018-2019 FRPA President Felicia Donnelly. "This tool provides an easy-to-use method to communicate the comprehensive value of parks to a diverse group of stakeholders."
Reports have already been generated by beta testers and early adopters. Among the figures included in the reports are home value increases, health care cost savings, and tourism dollars spent. To learn more about the FRPA–SFA partnership and the Recreation and Parks Impact Calculator, watch the video here: https://sportadvisory.com/parksrecreation/.
About The Sports Facilities Advisory | The Sports Facilities Management
Sports Facilities Advisory, LLC (SFA) and Sports Facilities Management, LLC (SFM) are both headquartered in Clearwater, FL. Since its founding in 2003, SFA has developed metrics and algorithm-driven market research tools for forecasting future performance of sport and recreation assets. SFA has served more than 2,000 communities, supported in the planning of more than $10 billion of planned assets through its institutional-grade financial forecasts, and provided funding strategies and solutions for more than 120 youth and amateur sports and recreation complexes worldwide. SFM provides industry-leading, results-driven management solutions for sports, fitness, recreation, and event venues nationwide. Since 2014, SFM-managed venues have hosted more than 100 million visitors and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact. For more information, visit: sportadvisory.com and sfmnetwork.com
SOURCE Sports Facilities Advisory, LLC