Award Date

Fall 2003

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Public Administration

First Committee Member

Dr. Anna Lukemeyer, Examination Committee Chair, Professor of Public Administration, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Number of Pages



For several years tax dollars have gradually diminished, causing parks and recreation managers to become more entrepreneurial in developing financial strategies for delivering high quality and cost efficient recreational services to the citizens. One financial tool, under much discussion, is for parks and recreation managers to establish formal cost recovery plans for their departments. This paper presents the results of a study in which local Nevada governmental parks and recreation departments were surveyed and evaluated to determine if they are using formal cost recovery plans and if cost efficiencies have been improved. The research focused on identifying factors associated with the development of formal cost recovery plans and the financial impact of formal cost recovery plans. The survey results indicate that Nevada’s parks and recreation departments continue to be reliant on the general fund. On average, departments derive 70% of their operational dollars from the general fund and collect approximately 25% from fees and charges. The data collected show that all organizations responding have some type of cost recovery practice, mostly from fees and charges, but less than 35% have a formal cost recovery plan. This number will increase to approximately 50% when current plans in the developmental process are completed and implemented. Urban cities with large budgets and serving large populations report having formal cost recovery plans. None of the county agencies reports having a formal cost recovery plan established for their parks and recreation departments. Caution must be taken when drawing conclusions regarding county parks and recreation departments as only 50% of the counties returned a survey. All departments that currently report having formal cost recovery plans report that cost efficiencies have increased since implementing their plans and those with the longest experience report the highest effect.


Nevada; Parks; Park facilities – Management; Recreation — Finance; Recreation — Management


Economic Policy | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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