Assessing Perceptions of Recreation Center Service Quality: An Application of Recent Advancements in Service Quality Research


  • Brett A. Wright
  • Nick Duray
  • Thomas L. Goodale


Service quality, service management, recreation centers, SERVQUAL.


Like their private-sector countezparts, park and recreation managers have become increasingly interested in improving the quality of services provided to their customers. This trend has produced a spate of studies in both the marketing and the parks and recreation literature. Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of service quality are described. A measurement teclmique, SERVQUAL, was adapted to assess user's perceptions of services quality at eight county recreation centers. The original SERVQUAL instrument, and the subsequent variants used in park and recreation settings, were determined to be too generic to yield information with sufficient specificity to correct service performance in individual recreation centers in this study. This paper describes the procedures for developing a customized service quality survey instrument based on SERVQUAL's principles, then illustrates its uses in diagnosing and improving service quality. Management applications and recommendations for implementing SERVQUAL-based approaches in park and recreation settings are discussed.





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