Commercial Recreation
GENERAL EDUCATION: This course does not fulfill a General Education requirement.

CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Introduction to the commercial recreation industry and career opportunities. Theme parks, convention centers, special event management, travel and tourism, outfitting and guiding, resort management, lodging and food, and support industries such as equipment sales, etc. will be covered.
DESCRIPTION: This course will introduce to students the history, characteristics and management aspects of commercial recreation. Emphasis will also be placed upon the study of entrepreneurship and small business operations in relation to the recreation and leisure industry. Case study analysis and field investigation methods will be emphasized to provide the student opportunity to learn through active participation.
OBJECTIVES: Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:
1. Discuss the history of commercial recreation and the socioeconomic forces that brought recreation into private or commercial settings.
2. Understand the scope of commercial recreation opportunities.
3. Understand the spirit of entrepreneurship and it’s inherent challenges.
4. Develop a plan for a commercial recreation enterprise.
5. Understand business methods and terminology applied to commercial recreation. These include marketing strategies, basic accounting and bookkeeping skills, and basic principles of finance.
6. Understand risk management in recreation and leisure services.
7. Accurately critique the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of commercial recreation businesses.
8. An understanding for the 31 most frequently asked questions about starting a small business.
Introduction to Commercial Recreation & Tourism - Fourth Edition: Crossley & Jamieson (2001).

Helpful webpages:
Starting a Business in Idaho - www.idoc.state.id.us/Business/starting.html
Idaho Business start-up answers - www.idahobizhelp.com
Business start-up e-magazine - www.bizstartups.com
Entrepreneurship - www.entrepreneurmag.com

Effective communication skills are critical to the success of recreation professionals. Writing is a form of communication. Your grades for written work in RL497 will be based upon the following criteria:
· Content, analysis, creativity & style.
· Integration of personal thoughts with course materials (book, class discussions and other outside references). “A” papers will typically incorporate a variety of references.
· Professional presentation- typed, spell checked, grammar, neatness, and APA format.
· Students are welcome and encouraged to submit papers early for review.

1. Commercial Recreation Career Self-Assessment:
Complete a 4-5 page self assessment. Select a small business that you might have interest in one day operating. As the owner of a small business you will be your own most important employee, so an objective appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses is essential. Some possible questions to ask yourself are: Am I a self starter? How well do I get along with a variety of Personalities? How good am I at making decisions? Do I have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business? How well do I plan and organize? Are my attitudes and drive strong enough to maintain motivation? How will the business affect my family? What knowledge, skills and abilities do I now possess and will I need to possess in the future to succeed in operating the small business of my choice? These are just some of the potential questions you might ask yourself as you seek to evaluate your potential as a small recreation business owner. Be honest with yourself!

2. Feasibility Study:
In groups of 2 to 4, students will select a commercial recreation business of their choice and prepare a detailed (30-40 page) feasibility study. This study will follow the guidelines in Chapter 4 of the text and include the following:
A Cover Letter
Chapter I - Description of the Business
Chapter II - Regulatory and Risk Analysis
Chapter III - Location Analysis
Chapter IV - Management Analysis
Chapter V - Market Analysis
Chapter VI - Financial Analysis
Chapter VII- Feasibility Recommendation

Successful studies will incorporate various resources (a minimum of 10) from the library, internet, personal visits and interviews with similar existing businesses. Students will also be required to prepare a 12 - 15 minute presentation to share with class members regarding their proposed business. Typed rough drafts of specified chapters will be due through out the semester (see calendar) & groups will formally critique other group studies.

This is a very large project requiring extensive planning & coordination. Select carefully your partners just as if you were actually starting a business. Select people who have similar interests, work habits and schedules allowing you to find time to meet as necessary. You are encouraged to create a group performance contract where group members may be removed from the project team if work standards are not met at any time.

3. Rough Drafts & Critiques
Rough drafts of various sections of the feasibility study will be submitted through out the semester. Classmates, not in your group, will have the opportunity to read through and assess your study. This will provide students with opportunities to develop the ability to critically analyze other recreation businesses proposed in class and to assist in the refining of all studies. The following is a list of drafts and required contents:
· DRAFT #1 – Feasibility Study Chapters 1 & 2
· DRAFT #2 – Feasibility Study Chapters 3 & 4
· DRAFT #3 – Feasibility Study Chapters 5 & 6
· DRAFT #4 – Feasibility Study Cover Letter, Chapter 7, Appendix & References

Feasibility study critiques will be due in the class following their receipt. A form to assist your evaluation will be distributed to assist in the assessing process.

4. Exams & Quizzes
Three pop quizzes will be given at random times through out the semester. Missed quizzes may not be made up unless the absence was previously excused. The course also includes three scheduled examinations to be taken in the Testing Center. Quiz and test format will be a combination of multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay
· EXAM #1 (80 points) Chapters 1-4
· EXAM #2 (80 points) Chapters 5-8
· FINAL EXAM (100 points) Chapters 9-12 (75%) & Previous Material (25%)