ConsultEcon Management & Economic Insight

The tourism sector is often one of the most important parts of national, state and city economies. Tourism encompasses attractions that entertain visitors; restaurants, hotels and retail operators that provide services to the visitor: and transportation that moves a visitor to and thru a destination. ConsultEcon staff work on all aspects of tourism, providing services focused on market support, development strategies, feasibility and implementation.


Heritage Tourism

Freedom Trail Master Plan:  Boston, Massachusetts
Prepared key elements of the Master Plan, including working with the Freedom Trail sites from a market development perspective.  This work has resulted in significant new investments in the Freedom Trail, and the plan for a new visitor interpretive center for the Freedom Trail.

Ohio & Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor Management Plan: 
Northeast Ohio
Analyzed baseline economic conditions and prepared alternative development and management strategies for this 100-mile-long canal corridor that includes parts of four counties, and the cities of Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Barberton, Massillon and the historic town of Zoar.  The heritage corridor also includes the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area.

Tucson Origins Heritage Park:  Tucson, Arizona
The Rio Nuevo district is planned to include a critical mass of attraction components including the Tucson Origins Heritage Park and the new Arizona State Museum at Rio Nuevo.  The Park site is associated with farming and irrigation along the river for a period of 4,000 years.  The Tucson Origins Heritage Park and the Arizona State Museum will collaborate on programs.  ConsultEcon served as the economic consultant to evaluate the joint use and ticketing potential for the Origins Heritage Park and Interpretive Center.  Groundbreaking for the Park took place in 2007.

Jamestown Master Plan:  
Jamestown, Virginia
Evaluated the potential for expansion of visitation as part of a master plan conducted by the National Park Service in conjunction with the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. The project focused on the archaeological interpretation of the newly discovered Original Jamestown Fort.

Wheeling National Heritage Area: 
Wheeling, West Virginia
Conducted feasibility, planning and financial analysis for a number of phases of Wheeling’s downtown revitalization process following the creation of the National Heritage Park.  These included revitalization strategy; analysis of a new intermodal parking garage, mini-feasibility studies for downtown projects and analysis of a new waterfront park.  Identification of potential revenue sources and funding sources was also undertaken as well as input to operating and financial projections and organizational structures.

Gettysburg National Military Park:  Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Evaluated master plan elements proposed for the continued development of this important National Military Park.  Our work focused on analysis of various plan alternatives presented in the General Management Plan, and evaluation of a new visitor center proposed for the Park.

Augusta Canal Redevelopment Plan:  Augusta, Georgia
This project was conducted as part of a multi-disciplinary team for the Georgia Department of Transportation and Canal Authority.  It included the evaluation of the economic development components of a master plan for the Augusta Canal.  The canal parallels the Savannah River and traverses rural areas, suburban and urban areas.  The overall project included an evaluation of historic buildings, regional economic development and real estate trends, recreational development, cultural facilities, and tourism development strategy.  In addition we acted as facilitators for a series of citizen task force meetings.  The Plan has been adopted and implemented by the City of Augusta, Richmond and Columbia Counties, and by the State of Georgia and the National Park Service, and is being implemented.  Funding for signage and interpretation has been supported by private companies.  This project received numerous awards, including a Federal Design Achievement Award and an Outstanding Economic Development Planning award from the Georgia Planning Association.

Saratoga Historic Battlefield:  Saratoga, New York
Prepared the market and economic components for the General Management Plan for the National Park Service, focusing on visitor interpretive centers.

Motor Cities National Heritage Area General Management Plan:  Detroit, Michigan
Assisted the planning team in preparing the management plan for this national heritage area located in southeastern Michigan and including Detroit, Lansing, Jackson and Flint.  This plan was the recipient of awards from the Michigan Society of Planning and Michigan Historic Preservation Network.

Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark:  Birmingham, Alabama
Conducted a market and operating analysis as part of the Master Plan for Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark.  This analysis estimated the annual attendance potential for Sloss Furnaces upon implementation the Master Plan as well as the operating characteristics of the expanded museum and events facility.

Thames River Heritage Park:  New London, Connecticut
Prepared an implementation development strategy for the Thames River Heritage Park, a multi-site heritage park in the New London and Groton areas.  Along with associated consultants tied the program and improvements of the economic revitalization project to the existing urban fabric which is an explicit goal of the Park.  An implementation plan for the plan was prepared which includes participation by the state, local government, Navy, Coast Guard, and a citizen task force.

Heritage Tourism Plan:  Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Assisted in the development of Chambersburg as a destination for heritage tourism activities.  The plan identified heritage resources and outlined heritage development strategies and the necessary implementation processes.  We also devised the thematic program for the Chambersburg Heritage Center, which will serve to attract, inform, and orient visitors through interpretive exhibits of the history and heritage of Chambersburg.

Heritage Tourism:  St. George’s, Bermuda
We evaluated heritage tourism opportunities in Bermuda for the St. George's Foundation.  The focus of this project was to evaluate the benefits of a visitor center, to be developed in historic warehouses at a key location in St. George's.

St. Croix Island International Heritage Site:  Maine and New Brunswick, Canada
Working with the National Park Service and Parks Canada, we evaluated economic components for visitor information strategies and visitor center locations for this International Heritage Site.

Steam Pump Ranch Heritage Park: 
Oro Valley, Arizona
We worked as part of a multidisciplinary team on a master plan for historic Steam Pump Ranch.  The challenges were to retain the historic elements and landscape of the site while identifying new uses that will support sustainable use as a heritage site and community resource.  Our work on this project included elements of master planning, market and financial feasibility and implementation strategies. 

Lackawanna Valley Heritage Park:   Scranton, Pennsylvania
This project included work on the initial plan for the Lackawanna Valley Heritage Park, and then subsequent work on Heritage Park components, including the Visitor Center and Trolley Museum.  We conducted market and financial feasibility studies for program components and evaluated alternative management options.

Canoa Ranch Master Plan:  Green Valley, Arizona
Prepared the project market and feasibility elements of the master plan as well as components of the implementation strategy.  This included background evaluation, analysis of development opportunities, alternative concepts development, and evaluation of the preferred alternative, as well facility operating characteristics as input to the business plan.

Cedar Park Heritage Plan: 
 Cedar Park, Texas
Assisted the City of Cedar Park in Heritage Tourism Planning. This work included reviewing the characteristics of existing heritage tourism sites within the community, reviewing the market context for the project, reviewing trends in heritage tourism, developing a framework for evaluating alternatives, and defining and evaluation of a preferred alternative.