Changes in Local Recreation Patronage in Iowa Small Towns 1994-2014
This research focuses on the usage of recreation and entertainment services in small towns in Iowa. The drive behind this research originated from an interest in the economic viability of these services in Iowa small towns. Surveys sent out by the Department of Sociology at Iowa State University in 1994, 2004, and 2014 provided the data set for the research conducted. The first purpose of the article is to display how the usage of these services has shifted over the years 1994-2014. Defining factors that influence an individual’s decision to use recreation mostly inside or outside of the community is the second purpose. A multinomial probit regression was used to determine possible associations. The final purpose is determining if social capital is an influencing factor. In conclusion, people in Iowa small towns are starting to use more recreation and entertainment services outside of their communities. The influencing variables of their choices include age, income, amount of years resided in the community, proportion of people known by name in the community, proportion of close personal friends living in the community, and total amount of groups belonged to. The latter two associations indicate a strong link to social capital as an influence.