Econsult Solutions, Inc. (“ESI”) and Parter International were retained by the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation (KNF) in 2020 to conduct a study of the feasibility and potential economic impact of the development of a new riverfront attraction on the KNF campus in Wilmington, Delaware. KNF is a non-profit organization that operates a historic tall ship and maritime center on Wilmington’s East 7th Street peninsula, an area with a proud colonial and industrial history currently in need of reinvestment.
The study undertook an extensive information gathering process through a variety of research methods. These included including stakeholder interviews, market research and a review of attraction concepts that were successful at comparable sites. A SWOT analysis was also undertaken to understand the intersection of potential strengths of the location and visitor interest.
The team developed potential scenarios for the site, and evaluated them relative to a set of criteria that incorporated the goals of the organization, broader stakeholders, and the realities of the marketplace. From this review of relative strengths and weaknesses, a preferred scenario was identified.
Drawing on comparable attractions and research into the visitor market, this scenario was further defined in terms of its characteristics and its potential to attract new visitation and spending. Economic and fiscal impact modeling was then undertaken to estimate the potential impacts of this additional activity for the city and state economy and tax base. Finally, implementation steps for the preferred scenario over the short and the long-term were developed and advanced.