Built Adventure Recreation Environments: Users, Uses, and the Adventure Recreation Model.

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Title: Built Adventure Recreation Environments: Users, Uses, and the Adventure Recreation Model.
Author: James, William Richard
Advisors: Dr. Roger Moore, Committee Member
Dr. Aram Attarian, Committee Member
Dr. Jason Bocarro, Committee Chair
Abstract: Built adventure recreation environments are becoming more prevalent and diverse, yet few studies have been undertaken to examine the users or uses of these settings. The primary purpose of this study was to develop a better understanding of the characteristics of those adventure recreationists utilizing built environments, why they are using these venues, and how users perceive these environments. This study looked at the characteristics or attributes of built environments that add to or detract from the participant’s experience and considered whether or not the Adventure Recreation Model was useful as a means of describing users of built adventure recreation environments. Finally, this study sought to understand the role of built environments in adventure recreation. Subjects consisted of 279 whitewater rafters and kayakers at the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) in Charlotte, NC. Analysis of participants’ motivations revealed that those ranked most important overall focused on escaping routine and included challenge, and exhilaration. Findings indicated that females sought a novel experience, while males sought excitement. Overall, facility attributes were viewed as adding to the user’s experience, although these attributes became less important as level of engagement increased. This study also found that whitewater rafting and kayaking at the USNWC are social experiences, as indicated by whom the respondent visited with and their motivations. While the Adventure Recreation Model was not found to be useful in predicting user behavior, it was useful as a means of describing users. Natural settings require the user to adapt to match their environment, whereas built environments can be adapted to match the user. Managers of built adventure recreation environments must understand the users and uses in order to maximize the participants’ satisfaction and the quality of the experience.
Date: 2009-03-16
Degree: MS
Discipline: Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1663

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