ConsultEcon Management & Economic Insight

Museums are important to a community’s cultural, educational and economic well being.  ConsultEcon is proud to be a member of the museum community and provide market, economic, business and planning services to create successful new museums and support existing museums to remain economically vital while maximizing community benefits, mission achievement, and their market potential.


Visitor Interpretive Centers

Visitor Center for Historic St. Georges: Bermuda
For the St. Georges Foundation, ConsultEcon evaluated the attendance potential for a visitor center to be developed in an adaptive reuse of the historic Queen’s Warehouse.  St. Georges is a World Heritage Site.  This study also prepared an operating plan for the new Visitors’ Center and estimated the economic benefits of the project.  This project was implemented.

NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center Strategy: 
This study aimed at identifying a strategy for the National Marine Sanctuary System (NMSS) to build brand recognition by capitalizing on available market opportunities related to interpreting the National Marine Sanctuary system, and the natural and cultural attributes of specific sanctuaries.  This was a nationwide strategy for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Sanctuary Visitor Centers.  Also included was an evaluation of specific opportunities at each of six Sanctuaries, and a profile of the characteristics of types of interpretive techniques and their various properties.

Freedom Trail Visitor Center:  Boston, Massachusetts
This work, performed as part of a planning team, has resulted in significant new investments in the Freedom Trail, and the plan for a new visitor interpretive center for the Freedom Trail, to be located in downtown Boston.  We also reviewed issues relating to interpretation, retail and transportation.

Spring Mountains Visitor Center Evaluation:  Las Vegas, Nevada
Evaluated the market and operating potential for the visitor center component of the proposed Middle Kyle Canyon Complex.  Recommendations for the visitor center were made based on the financial estimates, operating models and development estimates prepared by ConsultEcon.  Feedback was provided to the client for multiple visitor center options based on programs of spaces, development costs, and programmatic elements.

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center:  Alpena, Michigan
Evaluated the potential for a design-build visitor center for this Marine Sanctuary, including operating pro formas and costs associated with this approach.  This facility opened in 2005.

NOAA Marine Sanctuaries California Strategy:  California
We worked to develop a framework for the California Regional National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS) Interpretive Strategy for the Cordell Bank NMS, the Gulf of Farallones NMS, the Monterey Bay NMS and the Channel Islands NMS.  This work included reviewing the potential markets for each of the sanctuaries and a review of their current interpretive projects proposed or under development.  The framework included a summary of future interpretive opportunities based on the interpretive projects that were under development. 

Long Island Wine Country Visitor Center:  Greenport, New York
This project estimated visitation to the Long Island Wine country on the eastern end of Long Island, New York, and evaluated marketing approaches and alternative operating and management models for a visitor intercept strategy.  The visitation forecast supported an analysis of the feasibility of a visitor interpretive center.

Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Interpretive Strategy: 
Evaluated the interpretive strategy for the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.  The Sanctuary is located in the waters off the Hawaiian Islands.  Visitor centers and/or partnership interpretive strategies were proposed for the Islands of Kaua'i, O'ahu and Hawai'i to supplement the current visitor center in Maui.

Bridge House Visitor Center:  Albany, Georgia
Evaluated the historic Bridge House as a municipal visitor center for the City of Albany, Georgia.  The Bridge House is the oldest building in Albany, and is strategically located within the Flint River waterfront plan area.  Supporting retail uses were also evaluated.

Pennsylvania Dutch Visitor Information Center Strategy: 
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Developed a strategy for the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau’s information/orientation centers.  The work included an assessment of the regional tourism context and visitation trends and visitor characteristics, evaluation of current and potential sites for visitor centers, review of concepts, primary research to examine the needs and interest of visitors, a content development workshop, analysis of the potential market available to the visitor center(s), operating profiles and financial pro formas for any new facility, and an overall strategy for meeting visitors’ informational needs, encouraging new visitation and lengthening visitors’ stay in the region.

Ocean Sciences Center at NOVA Southeastern University:  Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Evaluated the market and operating potential of outreach components that were envisioned to include an aquarium, a visitor center and a conference facility.  We also worked collaboratively and iteratively with the design team to help identify the optimum program for each of the outreach components.

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Moku Papapa Discovery Center: 
Hilo, Hawai'i
Evaluated the feasibility of an Ocean Discovery Center for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reel Ecosystem Reserve.  This Center opened in Hilo in 2003.

Crane’s Beach/Visitor Center at Castle Hill: 
Ipswich, Massachusetts
For this seaside estate, currently owned and operated by the Trustees for Reservations, a visitor center was analyzed to provide interpretive services, ticketing, retail and food service amenities, a transportation hub and a meeting site.  The visitor center was planned in an historic barn complex.  Issues addressed include inter-relationship of user groups, visitation potential and optimum programming.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center: 
Santa Cruz, California
Prepared a business and operations plan for the proposed Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center, first evaluating the attendance and usage patterns for the new visitor center, and then developing an operating plan to inform the overall project strategic plan.

Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center: 
San Francisco, California
Evaluated the opportunity for relocation and expansion of the current visitor interpretive center located at Crissy Field in San Francisco.

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Interpretive Center: 
Savannah, Georgia
Tested the feasibility of a National Marine Sanctuary interpretive visitor center to be located in Savannah, Georgia on Hutchinson Island.