I know in VA, where I used to work, we had to pay a fee for the park as well as a % of our profits. We also had to prove that we had a business license to operate in the state/county (an additional yearly fee), that we had liability insurance, and were CPR certified. For those fees, the city regulated how many of us could use the park, where in the park we could occupy and what park services we could use. They also allowed us to advertise for free in any park and rec distributions.
While it did increase what I had to pay for fees, it also reduced my competition, as others didn’t want to go through the work “hassel”. So I did reap some of the benefits from reduced competition.
That’s a tough debate. I will say, if some of the groups are using full gym equipment outside and impeding others who enjoy the park or destroying some of the park services (grass, trees, etc) as the article suggests, then they should be reimbursing someone or maybe an ordinence regarding what equipment can be used on public lands. We all know you can get in a great workout without complicated equipment.