Convention Center, Hotel, and Retail Study

Kingman County is one of two counties making up the Wichita MSA in southern Kansas. This largely rural county has been losing population for decades, though that trend may be reversing as people move from the City of Wichita to rural home sites and smaller communities with a more affordable cost of living. The county’s economic development organization is seeking opportunities to retain businesses and attract new ones to the community both for the economic opportunities they provide, and to offer shopping and services to residents.

Place Dynamics was brought in to conduct the market and financial feasibility analysis for three potential uses:

  • A conference facility capable of hosting events with a minimum of 100 attendees
  • A new hotel, possibly in conjunction with the conference facility
  • Retail and dining businesses

The retail trade area for the county and its principal city is really no larger than the county itself. While few single-category uses are immediately viable (aside from a truck stop and restaurants), there is an opportunity for businesses to combine product lines to capture unmet demand.

Trade Area

The City of Kingman can support a new hotel, fueled in part by a 20 percent increase in traffic on Highway 50 over the past decade. A 40-room midscale property was recommended. The financial analysis demonstrated the project’s likely profitability and ability to secure financing based on typical commercial lending criteria.

Few similar rural counties, or communities the size of Kingman have convention centers of the size and character the economic development organization has envisioned. We examined the small handful of comparable facilities and assessed likely competition for the proposed center. The recommended facility will have a combination of dedicated rooms, flexible space, and amenities to enable it to host diverse functions such as business meetings, conferences and some trade shows, and banquets or receptions. A proposed location in the historic downtown, outdoor reception space, allowing outside food, and lower rental fees will help the facility to compete for bookings.

Convention Center Concept RenderingConference Center SketchConvention Center Site

In addition to the location and facility design, the study recommended a management structure, services to be provided, and marketing strategies.

None of the comparable spaces are financially self-sufficient, and the analysis predicted that this facility would similarly need continued financial support. That might not be the case, however, if it were to be developed with grants and donations to defray the estimated $1 million development cost.

 

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Tourism Asset Map for Rural Illinois Counties

Place Dynamics assisted Henry, rural Rock Island, and Mercer Counties in planning to develop and promote tourism within the HRRIM region. This was a multi-faceted project involving inventories, assessment, planning, and marketing.

We began the project by documenting and evaluating existing tourism atttractions on five unique criteria, resulting in a ranking and helping to identify future development needs. At the same time, we examined visitor demographics and patterns not only within the HRRIM region, but also among competitors. Attractions were grouped to create itineraries designed to boost visitation and encourage visitors to extend the length of their stays. A development program addressed both general needs or opportunities, and those specific to individual attractions. A marketing plan discussed messaging, target markets, and opportunities for promotion.

To help demonstrate the importance of tourism to the economy, we compiled an economic impact analysis of tourism on the economy of each of the three counties. The area’s tourism is responsible for generating over $55 million in economic activity, nearly 1,000 jobs, and nearly $1 million in annual tax revenue.

Summary Report: TOURISM MATTERS

Asset Map - Final

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St. Francisville Hotel Feasibility Study

St. Francisville lies along the Mississippi at the heart of Louisiana’s plantation country, less than an hour north of Baton Rouge. The city is famous for its historic architecture and the nearby bayous where John James Audubon made many of his famous bird drawings. There is a significant tourism market in the area, where development has also boomed as New Orleans residents sought a safer home in the years following Hurricane Katrina.

Place Dynamics was brought in to conduct a market analysis to determine potential demand for additional hotel rooms in the market. The strong visitor traffic along with a new bridge over the Mississippi River suggested strong unmet demand, and the study recommended a new midscale hotel to capture lost room nights.

St Fancisville LA (9)

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