Whether it was on the beach or out on the golf course, the Naperville Park District is ending the final stretch of 2023 on a high note with record-level participation at a number of venues, based on data from officials.
During a discussion of next year’s financial plan, Executive Director Brad Wilson shared some of the district’s participation numbers from 2023 at the board of commissioners meeting Nov. 9.
“This was really a historic year for the district,” Wilson said. “We have never served more people than we did in 2023.”
Across-the-board interest in programs
Naperville Park District’s strong numbers stretched across each of the four core areas, Wilson said, including Fort Hill Activity Center, Centennial Beach, the golf courses, and the recreation programs.
Combined, the quartet “all had outstanding years,” Wilson said, as he combed through participation numbers, some of them still tentative because programs and venues will continue through next month.
“We are projected to end the year right now with well over 64,000 program participants, which is the highest that we’ve recorded,” Wilson said.
One of the district’s prior banner years — 2022 — notched 62,000 participants, by comparison, but included several specific programs that local school districts have since taken over.
Numbers strong for several park district venues
In the early days of November, Wilson said 45,000 rounds of golf were played at the Naperbrook facility, and the upbeat projection could extend further out with mild weather conditions still in place.
“That is the highest level of rounds that the facility has recorded,” Wilson said. “If the weather remains, we may actually get closer to 46,000 rounds by the end of the year.”
In his report to commissioners, Wilson also shined a spotlight on Fort Hill, where approximately 7,000 memberships have been taken out at the activity center this year—the highest on record since 2016.
Over at Centennial Beach, a total of 8,500 memberships were taken out this year, which is the highest number since 2013.
The recreation-focused day camps also had high attendance this year, and set a record. In year-over-year comparisons, Wilson said there were 400 more participants in the camps this year, compared to 2022.
User satisfaction reportedly remains high
Wilson and other officials said the high participation levels mirror satisfaction surveys.
“Across the board, all of our programs and services achieve at levels that the district has not seen before,” Wilson said. “We continue to see that the district is being held in high regard in the community.”
Wilson said he and other officials view last year’s survey as a firm foundation for the district’s forward-looking goals
“In 2022, the community survey conducted by the park district had a very high esteem rating,” he said.
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