ConsultEcon Management & Economic Insight

ConsultEcon staff have broadly based experience in evaluating market, economic and financial aspects of economic development projects. These include area-wide strategies, district plans, and site master plans, as well as individual development projects and redevelopment and reuse plans.  We often work in multidisciplinary teams that might include planners, architects, landscape architects, engineers, and/or public outreach specialists.


Parks & Recreation

Railroad Park:  Birmingham, Alabama
Served as economic development and business plan consultants for the development of the new "central park" in Birmingham, Alabama.  The Railroad Reservation Park will be the centerpiece of a public-private joint effort to develop a key 14 acre site in downtown Birmingham that will be the venue for a range of activities including a performance venue, urban lake, history and arts pavilion and extensive greensward.  The park is being developed as part of a partnership between the City of Birmingham and the Railroad Park Foundation.  Groundbreaking for the park occurred in 2008.

Waimea Falls Park:  O'ahu, Hawai'i
Evaluated the attendance and operating potential of Waimea Falls Park as operated by the National Audubon Society.  Issues included evaluating options for operating profiles, attendance potential with different ticketing approaches and an operating plan for taking this privately operated site to a not-for-profit operating profile.  The National Audubon Society signed a memorandum of understanding to operate the Park as a nature preserve for the City and County of Honolulu.

Emerson Park Master Plan:  Cayuga County, New York
Provided the market support and operational evaluation for the master plan for Emerson Park, located in Auburn, New York on the northern shore of Owasco Lake.  The market work evaluated the potential for the development of a hotel/conference center, a full-service restaurant, a waterpark/play area and an ice skating trail.

Iowa Destination State Parks: 
Various locations, Iowa
Evaluated economic potential of destination state parks in two locations in Iowa.  Uses included hotel/conference center, RV park, camping, restaurant and visitor amenities.  The development model is a public/private partnership between the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and private-sector owner/operators.

Red Mountain Park:  Birmingham, Alabama
Assisted with the planning effort for the development of a master plan for Red Mountain Park.  In addition to a series of meetings and charrettes, our work included baseline analysis and input from stakeholders, benchmarking of comparable projects, development of a series of alternatives, and the development of the operations and economic impact for input into the master plan for the Park.

Sandy Neck Beach Park:  Barnstable, Massachusetts
Prepared a market and feasibility analysis for a proposed Interpretive Center on Cape Cod at Sandy Neck Beach Park.  This work included a needs assessment and evaluation of local market support.  We compared the existing operational and financial model, organizational structure, program and staffing levels to other Cape Cod regional attractions of similar size and activity.

Laumeier Sculpture Park:  St. Louis, Missouri
We were part of a multidisciplinary team that prepared a master plan for the major urban park in St. Louis County.  This park is the venue for one of the country’s outstanding sculpture parks and includes major site works by leading artists.

Cherokee Wildlife Park:  Cherokee, North Carolina
For this proposed high altitude site in Cherokee, ConsultEcon evaluated the market and economic potential for a Cherokee Wildlife Park.  We also evaluated the feasibility of a tramway to access the site as a project component.

Woonasquatucket River Greenway:  Providence, Rhode Island
This is an urban greenway including bike and pedestrian use. Reviewed background materials on the neighborhoods and the proposed route and provided an overview of area socioeconomic characteristics.  Coordinated strategies were developed to promote economic development, and economic benefits were evaluated including discrete development projects and new spending generated by Greenway users.  Segments of the project have been developed with the total plan slated for completion.

Niagara Parks Master Plan:  Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
This work provided an analysis of current market and operating conditions of Niagara Parks, which operates the Canadian side of world-famous Niagara Falls, with a focus on Queen Victoria Park.  It reviewed the experience of comparable attractions in North America and applied it to Niagara Falls.  An important aspect of this analysis was to put into context the strategic issues facing Niagara Parks as it planned for upcoming years in a Master Plan process.  Recommendations on new attraction elements, associated retail and food service were included.  A business plan and warranted investment strategy were central to a major investment program.

Mt. Greylock Development Options:  Adams, Massachusetts
For MassDevelopment and as part of a multi-disciplinary consulting team, ConsultEcon evaluated the market potential of various development options for a major site on Massachusetts’ highest mountain. It has until now been largely undeveloped and commercial development has been controversial. This plan brought in conservation and nature organizations as development partners in order to balance economic and conservation interests.