Borough of Manasquan, New Jersey

Manasquan Recreation Business Plan

  I.  Background

For over thirty years, the Manasquan Recreation Commission has offered leisure activities to the residents of our growing and changing community.   Currently, the Recreation Commission offers more than twenty programs for residents of all ages ranging from physical activity programs to educational activities and summer childcare.  The Recreation Commission also co-sponsors approximately fifteen other programs with neighboring towns for the additional benefits of our residents.  The Commission has requests and plans for new events and programs, yet are faced with the inability to offer new services at this time due to a lack of physical space to accommodate such plans.  

Many neighboring communities in Monmouth county have successful recreation programs that meet out of a centralized location which serves as both a meeting and activity hub.  Some of these local towns include: Middletown, Howell, Asbury Park, Belmar and Ocean Township.  Each of these Recreation Departments offer upwards of sixty different programs for youths, adults and seniors.   The Manasquan Recreation Commission has a vision of creating a model of recreation services similar to those yet unique to the needs of our community.
           
While we are currently using the DCI building located on Atlantic Avenue, the building does not meet the town’s needs in the future due to the improvements necessary to the building and the lack of expansion space. The desire to expand programs and services beyond our offerings inspired the Recreation Commission to search for an additional location.  Our search determined the best location to be at Stockton Lake Park.  This location allows for ample space and parking with no disruption to the newly designed ballfields and plans for future tennis courts and a concession stand for Manasquan Brielle Little League.  It also allows for closer supervision of the aforementioned facilities by the Community Center staff. 

 

II.  Industry Statistics

            The fitness and recreation industry has seen an exponential increase in membership over the past 20 years.  As of January 2007, 42.7 million Americans are members of health clubs, nearly twice as many as the 20.7 million in 1990 according to the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association (IHRSA).  IHRSA also approximated the total industry revenue in 2006 to over 14.8 billion.

            Growth in the fitness industry has occurred in all demographics.  As shown in table 2.1 below, the target audience for health and fitness center membership continues to be the 18-54 year old age bracket.  Of this population, women account for 57% of the total membership population which has given rise to the “For Women Only” fitness center model.  According to the same industry statistics, the age demographic showing the largest incremental area of growth over the past decade is the 17 and under group.  With the increase in the rates of childhood obesity and related medical conditions, health and fitness centers are now targeting programs and activities to this particular age group and their families. Additionally with the increase in the baby boomer population, the second age group seeing a rise in membership is the 55+ group.

Table: 2.1- Membership Demographics by Age

                                        
           
            2000 Census Bureau data for the Borough of Manasquan supports this trend in industry growth. There are approximately 6500 year round residents located in Manasquan.  The median age of a resident of Manasquan in 2000 was 36 years of age. The youth and teen population under the age of 18 was over 1,727 and continues to grow each year. The senior population in Manasquan at the time of survey was approximately 1,000 active residents. With over 3,000 households comprised of young families and active adults in the community of Manasquan, this area is ripe with potential for the development of family focused Community Center.
           
The annual household income in the community of Manasquan also supports the data which highlights the percentage of homes with fitness center memberships based upon income.  According to statistics provided by Relo Home Search, Inc., the median household income in the Borough of Manasquan is $92,082. This data suggests that over 50% of the homes (approximately 1500 homes) in Manasquan have the financial ability to own fitness center memberships.

Table 2.2- Facility Memberships Based Upon Household Income
         
                          


III. Competitive Analysis

          Competition in the fitness and recreation industry comes from three specific areas: home recreation, health clubs, and combined facilities.  Although Manasquan is a community by the sea with many opportunities for outdoor recreation, a majority of homeowners in this area have a membership at a health club facility.

            Within a four mile radius of Manasquan are eighteen different health clubs.  These facilities offer a wide variety of fitness and wellness opportunities for singles, families and seniors.  The Community Center model in our town offers residents the opportunity to participate in a wider scope of programs and services for all ages that many health and fitness facilities cannot offer at a reasonable cost.   

Table 3:1- Competitive Health Club Demographics

          

With only 37% of local health and fitness centers catering to families, the Community Center in Manasquan offers much more than other facilities.  With a vision dedicated to families and programs specific for all ages at reasonable prices, the Community Center is positioned to recruit a large membership base.

IV. Facility Specifications: (Appendix A)

The mission and vision of a Community Center developed by the Recreation Commission is of a facility which provides state of the art recreational facilities and offers leisure, educational, cultural and physical activities for the residents of our community while enhancing their quality of life and inspiring personal growth, family support, self-esteem, pride and respect for the community of Manasquan.
 
The Community Center designed for Manasquan Recreation is a 13,500 square foot state of the art facility.  The Center will be located in the northwest corner of Stockton Lake park overlooking the skate ramps. The bi-level facility allows for the use of existing sports facilities located at that complex.  The generous donation of this land space by the Borough of Manasquan truly creates a recreation complex like no other in the area. 

The first floor of this facility houses a 7,500 square foot full-court multi-purpose gymnasium with bleachers, a roll down movie screen and dividing curtain to promote further use of the space.  The gymnasium will have roll-up doors which will enable the room to be accessed from the outside during larger scale indoor and outdoor activities.  The first floor also houses a 1,800 square foot fitness center which will contain both cardiovascular and strength training equipment.  To complete the space, the first floor will also house a lobby area with reception desk, staff office and locker rooms.   The locker rooms will house ADA accessible bathroom stalls, showers, lockers and changing areas.

The second floor of the facility contains an 1,800 square foot dividable multi-purpose room with a kitchenette.  Two additional multi-purpose rooms at 450 square feet each are also located on the second floor and can serve as group exercise rooms or general activity rooms.  The lounge located on the second floor allows for viewing the basketball court as it remains open on the upper level.  Access to the second floor will be available by both staircase and elevator in compliance with ADA standards.  

Additional features of the facility include three large storage areas on the first floor and two storage areas on the second floor. Mechanical storage will be located on the first floor in an enclosed storage location. The exterior of the Community Center features a covered patio which allows for an excellent view of the ballfields.

See Appendix A for a complete set of floor plans.

V.  Funding Sources

            As the idea for building a Community Center in our town began to take form, the Recreation Commission of Manasquan sought out fundraising activities and grant opportunities to secure some of the funds to complement the generous donation of land and funds from the Borough.  With the sale of the DCI building at an estimated cost of $500,000 which has generously been designated for recreation purposes by the Council, the vision of a Community Center is well on its way to becoming a reality.  The fundraising initiated by the Recreation Commission has taken the form of not only financial commitments, but also in the donation of products and services necessary to build such a center.

            Over the past twelve years, the annual Fools Run held every April has been a consistent source of revenue.  What started as modest revenue source has grown substantially to be not only a fantastic event, but a solid revenue source. For the past two years, the event has averaged $15,000 in revenue. To date, the Recreation Commission has $193,000 in the building fund set aside towards the development of the Community Center. 

            As the plans for the construction begin to take shape, the Recreation Commission will swing its Capital Fundraising Campaign into action. Not only will this campaign ask for generous donations, but will give residents ways to put their money to work. The initial phase of such a campaign is to get the information about the Community Center out to the public along with the first of several fundraising programs. The Buy-A-Brick program offers members of the community the chance to show their pride in Manasquan and purchase their own piece of the Community Center.  These paving stones will be easily visible for years to come as members and visitors make their way into the Center.  The Buy-A—Brick program offers paving stones in varying sizes- from a 4X6 for $150.00 up to a 12x12 block for $1,000.00.  This is only the first of several Community Center fundraisers to be held. Other examples of fundraisers include large raffle programs, fund drives and fundraising partnerships with organizations like the local ELKS chapter.

            The Capital Fundraising Campaign also encourages businesses, employees and vendors to participate in our corporate sponsorship program. Corporate sponsorship encourages businesses to purchase specific items for the Community Center.  Examples of such high-ticket items include the scoreboard in the gymnasium, a donation of specific equipment in the fitness center, the kitchenette, bleachers, the gymnasium floor, etc.  Detailed with the sponsors name, the purchase of these items will secure their company name be etched in the Community Center for all members to see.  For a significant contribution, even the name of the Community Center is up for sale! 

            As daunting as the task of fundraising for the building of a Community Center sounds, the teamwork between the Borough of Manasquan Council, the Recreation Commission, its businesses and community members is quickly turning this vision into a reality.

VI. Programming: (Appendix B)

The programming possibilities within the Manasquan Community Center are endless.  Programs and services will be offered for families, youths, teens, adults and seniors.  The Program Calendar will incorporate existing programs offered at the DCI building and other locations into the existing schedule at the Community Center.

In an effort to obtain community support and to create a programming calendar which will encourage membership, an initial community needs assessment will be done.  This will entail a detailed survey of programs, services and fees of local competitors as well as a community survey mailed to the homes of residents.  The “wish list” of programs suggested by residents as well as the data gathered regarding competitors aids in creating the programming calendar.

Once the program schedule has been developed, the fee schedule for the programs will be developed based upon instructor costs, necessary supplies, facility usage time and competitors fees.  Programs at the Community Center will run in 8-week cycles with 6 sessions offered over the course of a year.

Optimally, the activities scheduled throughout the course of the day will adjust as the schedule of its members does.  Weekday morning activities will cater to the youngest members of our community, with a calendar full of programs to keep kids active and learning.  Also offered in the morning will be exercise classes for adults and seniors.  Early weekday afternoon programs will be geared toward the seniors in our community.  After school, the volume of activities offered will pick up significantly as we gear programs to our grade school, middle school and high school aged youth.  Evening and night activities will be aimed towards adults and high school students as open basketball and sports leagues will dominate the calendar.  Weekends will have a calendar busy in the mornings with open activity times scheduled for the afternoons.  Numerous special events will be interspersed throughout the sessions.

One of the most exciting offers at the Community Center will be youth birthday parties. The options for parties range from sports themed events, tumbling activities, dance parties, princess parties- the options are endless with a little creativity.  Birthday party revenue is significant as the overall expenditure by the Community Center is very minimal.  Aside from the revenue it offers, it also offers excellent exposure of our facility and programs to non-members which in turn generates additional programming and membership revenue.

The role of a Community Center is also to serve as a meeting place for residents and visitors.  Although one of the goals of the Community Center will be to offer programs and services in order to generate sufficient revenue to sustain daily operations, the center will also serve a key role to its residents as a meeting site for community organizations.  Provided the rooms are available senior groups, scout troops and various clubs will be given opportunities to use the Community Center.

A listing of the potential programs and services to be offered at the Community Center are provided as Appendix B.

VII.  Facility Management/Staffing (Appendix C and Appendix D)

            The staffing model for the Community Center consists of one Facility Director, two Departmental Managers, part-time staff and independent contractors.  To ensure the utmost in safety and customer satisfaction, a minimum of one supervisory staff member will be in the building during all hours of operation.  The primary responsibilities of the management team are to manage the facility in a fiscally responsible manner, develop programs and activities to meet the needs of the members and to maintain a safe environment. Typical salary ranges for these positions are included in Table 7.1.

Table 7:1- Community Center Staff Salary Recommendations (Full-Time Staff)

Community Center Director

    $60,000 - 72,000

Departmental Manager

    $45,000 - 55,000

           
            Part-time staff members are considered those who are either seasonal employees or those who work a maximum of 20 hours per week.  These employees are not entitled to benefits.  Examples of part-time staff members include; fitness center attendants, front desk staff and summer camp staff. Hourly salary recommendations for part-time staff are included in Table 7.2.

Table 7:2- Community Center Staff Salary Recommendations (Part-Time Staff)

Front Desk Staff

         $10.00/hour

Fitness Center Attendants

         $8.00/hour

Summer Camp Staff

         $8.50/hour

Housekeeping Staff

         $9.00/hour

           
The independent contractors are those in the organization who will teach classes or coach teams for short periods of time for amounts of money based upon the enrollment in the program.  Independent contractors are of no expense to the Community Center since they supply their own materials and generate their own paycheck. However, the success of their programs help support the fiscal health of the center as a portion of the revenue they generate goes directly to the center as “rental fees.” Examples of independent contractors include; personal trainers, sports clinic instructors and activity instructors such as Paint, Paste and Pour.

            A staffing model for the Community Center is attached as Appendix C.  Job descriptions for the Community Center Director and Departmental Managers are included as Appendix D.

VIII. Anticipated Revenue Sources

            The revenue generated from the Community Center on an annual basis must be sufficient to cover operating costs, employee salaries and general facility maintenance.  The sources of revenue for the Community Center will come from three distinct areas: facility membership, activity fees and annual fundraising.

  1. General Facility Membership- In order to have full access to the programs and services available at the Community Center, individuals and families will be required to purchase an annual membership.  This membership entitles them to the following amenities:
      1. Use of the fitness center
      2. Participation in group exercise classes
      3. Use of the gymnasium during open activity times
      4. Discounted rates for programs (up to 25%)
      5. Priority enrollment for activities including summer camp and bus trips
      6. Participation in member-only events

Membership rates are based upon the amount of individuals enrolling in a household.  Membership fees will be collected on a monthly basis via Electronic Funds Transfer from a checking account or credit card account.  Members will sign a contract for one-year after which the membership will change to a month-to-month membership with option to cancel with 30 days advance notice in writing.  See Table 8.1 for a detailed membership fee schedule.

Table 8:1- Community Center Membership Fees

                                                      Residents                 Non-Residents


Youth (ages 4-10)

   $150.00 annually

  $200.00 annually

Teen (ages 11-17)

   $200.00 annually

  $250.00 annually

Adult (ages 18 – 64)

   $325.00 annually

  $375.00 annually

Senior (ages 65+)

   $250.00 annually

  $300.00 annually

Adult Couple

   $400.00 annually

  $450.00 annually

Senior Couple (one individual has to be over the age of 65)

   $325.00 annually

  $375.00 annually

Family (2 adults + children residing in the household)

   $450.00 annually

  $525.00 annually

  1. Programming Fees- All structured programs offered at the Community Center will have pre-determined fees associated with them.  Fees are based upon several factors which include: instructor rates, facility usage time, supplies and materials.  To protect all parties involved, the Community Center will have financial agreements in writing with each instructor prior to enrollment. In the majority of cases, the program fee will be a 70/30 split between the parties- 70% goes to the instructor and the remaining 30% goes to the Community Center.  Enrollment fees will be paid directly to the Community Center who will issue payment to the instructor upon completion of the program session.

Typically, the cost of an 8-week program will range between $50.00 - $150.00 depending upon the type of program being offered.  Programming fees will be divided into member and non-member rate categories.  As previously mentioned, members will receive up to a 25% discount on the program rate.  The goal of offering member and non-member rates is to encourage individuals to purchase memberships which in turn increase the overall revenue volume.

  1. Fundraising- Corporate sponsorship for large-scale events and new purchases will be on ongoing component of the Community Center’s annual goals. 

IX. Conclusion

            So many young families and older adults are drawn to Manasquan for its quaint town, fantastic school system, beautiful beaches and friendly neighbors.  As the town’s residents continue to grow and become more diverse, the challenge faced by the governing body in our community becomes how we meet the needs of our ever-changing population.

            The building of a Community Center with a new and improved Recreation Department will be an incredible asset to an already vibrant community.  From a real estate standpoint, a Community Center will be a selling point for both young couples and seniors.  For new businesses, it represents an opportunity to generate new clientele through sponsorship.  For our teens, it’s a way to keep them in a safe and supervised environment on a Saturday night.  For our Seniors, it encourages them to meet with others in their age group and socialize when they may otherwise be isolated.  And for the families of this great town, it gives them a chance to spend quality time together away from the hustle and bustle of daily responsibilities.

            As a team, the Recreation Commission and the Council of Manasquan can make this Community Center a reality.

 

 

201 East Main Street • Manasquan, New Jersey 08736
732-223-0544

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