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Managing for Recreation Mixing Lifestyle and Social Well-Being

Every community has certain amenities or assets that residents value highly. In some communities, those features are extra parking areas, bike paths or "tot lots." In others, golf courses and restaurants are the way communities identify their unique appeal. Regardless of the amenity, the focus is always on lifestyle, quality of life and recreational and social opportunity.

Managing amenities must be grounded in the importance of protecting and maintaining assets while enhancing residents' enjoyment of facilities.

Therefore, boards and managers of communities with amenities have to implement a two-fold program that consists of facility maintenance, operation and safety, while enhancing and showcasing usage of the amenities.

While it can be tempting to merely maintain the status quo and continue with regular annual schedules, it is important to celebrate each new season with both a physical 'sprucing' of facilities and a public 'kickoff' announcement for use opportunities. This is also a good time to remind residents of things like guest hours, new benches at the tennis courts and how to access bocce equipment.

Amenities add value to a community, and residents should be encouraged to take advantage of them. Services provided should be chosen according to what would be most beneficial to the types of residents living there. A drop-off laundry service, for example, might be most helpful for working families. Similarly, bus ticket sales would be a great convenience for commuters, and ice melt pick-up stations could assist suburban community members.

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