Sand Mountain Park Case Study
Community Center: Benefits for Small Towns
Small town life offers many benefits: clean air, little traffic, low crime rates, and a slower pace. Despite the benefits, small towns have continue to suffer under the weight of economic downturns. To boost their economies and revitalize their communities, many small towns throughout the United States are investing in community recreation centers. At Sports Facility Advisory, we work to dramatically improve the health and economic vitality of the communities we serve and have done so in over 2,000 communities nationally and internationally. We believe in the power of a strong community center and can help you establish one in your town. In the section below, we will discuss some ways a new community center can benefit your small town. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help at every stage of community center development, contact us today.
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Exercise is one of the most obvious benefits of a community center. In many small towns, people have to commute to larger cities to gain access to high-quality exercise equipment. Statistics show that this can have a tremendous impact on how often an individual works out. According to a study from data firm Dstillerty, people who worked out five time per week lived 3.7 miles from a local gym. The further the commute, the fewer times, on average, people travelled to the gym.
Community recreation centers provide an affordable and convenient place for people to workout and focus on their fitness goals. Overall, this boosts the health and wellbeing of a community.
Boosts the Local Economy
It may be surprising to some, but community centers can boost a small town’s economy. First, recreation centers require large staffs, creating new jobs in the community. Second, hosting sports tournaments at your recreation center can convert it into a sports tourism destination, capitalizing on a $15 billion industry. As people travel to your town for tournaments, they are likely to bring money to local restaurants, hotels, and shopping centers. For small towns, a small economic boost can have a huge impact.
Keeps Adolescents Safe
Juvenile crime is a common problem for small towns. With busy parents and few entertainment options, adolescents are likely to get involved in drugs and alcohol. Community centers provide a safe place for young people to hang out, make new friends, and stay out of trouble. According to a report from the University of Chicago, afterschool programs have been linked to reduced drug use in many communities.
With a focus on sports and fitness, community centers can also reduce childhood obesity and promote health and wellness.
Provides a Meeting Space
Outside of town halls and churches, many small towns do not have a meeting place. Whether it be a corporate event, a club meeting, or a fundraiser, recreation centers provide a convenient place to gather. By having a meeting venue, you can increase community involvement and revitalize your town’s social scene.
Boosts Property Values
Community centers are a great addition to any neighborhood. People are drawn to convenient and affordable access to exercise equipment, meeting spaces, and other amenities. Overall, this can boost property values and the resale values of homes. In Philadelphia, parks and recreation centers have helped the city receive $18.1 million in tax revenues, spurred by increased property values.
Community Center Development with SFA
Sports Facility Advisory specializes in community center development and planning. Since 2003, we have partnered with a variety of public and private projects, providing feasibility studies, market research, funding services, and development services. We are with you from concept to concrete to grand opening and beyond. To learn how we can benefit your community, contact us today.