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.


Recreational Transportation

Tennessee River Runner Tour Boat:  Chattanooga, Tennessee
Evaluated the potential for implementing a high-speed tourist boat attraction on the Tennessee River.  The work plan for this study effort included refining the concept and general operating parameters of the tour boat, including route planning, trip duration and frequency, vessel size and capacity and the overall visitor experience to be offered. We also performed a preliminary assessment of the demographic characteristics of the resident and visitor markets available for the tour boat, as well as a preliminary analysis of vessel and docking feasibility.  We developed an operating profile to define the preliminary feasibility for the project and projected earned revenue potential.  In addition, potential funding sources for the project as well as regulatory issues that may affect operation of the vessel were addressed.  The vessel was constructed and operation began in 2008.

Cherokee Wildlife Park Tramway:  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 paid tramway as a part of this project.

Goodspeed Opera House Showboat:  East Haddam, Connecticut
As one component of their long term vision, the Goodspeed Opera House considered developing a showboat that would transit the Connecticut River, and would offer passengers an upscale dinner theater experience.  Utilizing data from primary market research conducted for this project and comparable showboats in such locations as Branson, MO and Nashville, TN, ConsultEcon, Inc. evaluated the potential market support and operating potential of such a project.  The evaluation included attendance projections, seasonality of attendance, vessel and land based revenues and operating costs, and overall economic impacts of the project to the county and state.

Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum Expansion: 
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts
The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum had proposed an expansion to a new and larger site in an adaptive reuse of an historically significant mill structure.  Market potential and facility development guidance were provided, along with an evaluation of working trolley routes associated with the Museum.

Saratoga National Historic Battlefield:  Saratoga, New York
Prepared the economic components for work on the General Management Plan for the National Park Service, focusing on visitor interpretive centers and alternative transportation systems to link components of the park.

Annenberg Education Center at Sunnylands: 
Rancho Mirage, California
Provided an overview of the market context and operating profile for the proposed Annenberg Education Center at Sunnylands, the historic family estate in Rancho Mirage.  This work also included review of business and operating plans developed to date, as well as comparable project and special internal visitor transportation systems.

The Audubon Ark Environmental Education Vessel: St. Louis, Missouri
Provided consulting services to formulate a market strategy and preliminary operating approach for the proposed vessel and associated landside improvements. The purpose of this study was to analyze the demand for the types of experiences the Audubon Ark could offer; identify geographic markets and audience segments for the vessel; evaluate the experience of comparable educational vessels nationally; and estimate attendance projections and a ticket pricing plan. A business plan was developed that included revenue potential, marketing, operations, and synergy with all project components.