SERVICES AND METHODOLOGY
Johnson Consulting has a well-developed process that we have successfully used in performing market and financial feasibility, and economic and fiscal impact analyses, for various venue developments and destination environments in North America and throughout the world. Provided below is a sample of our available services, including an outline of our standardized process for each, which is always tailored to meet the specific needs and requirements of our clients.
A comprehensive Market Study is typically the first component of our independent process to assess the viability of a project. This is because a Market Study provides a basis of information for assessing the market opportunity for a contemplated development, or expansion to an existing facility or venue, and feeds into feasibility analyses, funding and operating strategies, and economic and fiscal impact analyses. We can utilize primary and secondary research conducted solely by Johnson Consulting and/ or can leverage data, information and analyses prepared by or on behalf of the Client. While all elements listed below will yield the most comprehensive analysis, not all are critical to subsequent tasks, and this is always discussed prior to commencement of a study.
A. MARKET ANALYSIS: Analysis of pertinent economic, demographic, visitor and market factors that impact sports and recreation facilities, multi-purpose venues, community assets, and cultural and tourism attractions, as well as business growth and space utilization trends within the local and regional markets. Our analysis provides a realistic assessment of the market’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). We utilize primary data, based upon our own research and discussions with key stakeholders, and secondary data, including published metrics from trusted industry sources, government, and non- profit organizations.
B. ASSET INVENTORY: Johnson Consulting has developed a proprietary market and destination analysis tool that allows us to inventory current market offerings and undertake a market impact analysis of various community and tourism venue alternatives. This component of analysis culminates in a baseline conditions assessment that identifies draws within (or proximate to) the market and documents the current inventory, as well as any planned, venues and attractions, measures venue performance, identifies underperforming assets, evaluates marketing sales goals, reviews trends and conditions that have the potential to impact visitation to the market, and provides a short-list of potential opportunities with respect to venue of facility development.
C. INDUSTRY TRENDS: Review of recent national, statewide and regional/ local statistics for the events, sports and tourism industries. The analysis is based upon secondary sources of information, supplemented by our firm’s extensive experience, to determine and document industry trends, including visitor segment growth, meeting planner and event promotor trends, venue selection criteria, technology, overall industry health, and other factors that will influence the ability of the local market to support new meeting, sports and/ or cultural amenities.
D. STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT: Conduct a series of interviews and focus group meetings with key stakeholders identified in partnership with the Client. Through this engagement, we solicit input and feedback, build understanding and identify support for various program components. This process is also used to identify partnerships and relationships that can successfully carry the project forward through implementation. As desired, we can also conduct a community-wide online survey.
E. COMPARABLE ANALYSIS: Case study profiles of several comparable facilities, markets and/ or destinations that offer innovative ideas with respect to venue development, operations or performance, including unique design elements, performance and impact. Johnson Consulting has developed a substantial database of financial and operating data, as well as recent market and industry trends, for event, entertainment and sports facilities of all types. In addition, we have working relationships with numerous venue management companies and all sanctioning bodies that provide us with a comprehensive understanding of best practices and what the costs and benefits of adding a new venue will be to the Client group, and what benefits it could create for the broader region.
F. RECOMMENDED PROGRAM: Recommendations, or independent validation of, the optimal program to achieve the vision and goals for the subject site, reflecting unmet demand in the market, new demand potential, phasing and long-term strategies that will allow for future expansion and/ or development. In addition to the overall scope and scale of any new program elements, we prepare specific recommendations regarding the number, size, and preferred attribute(s) of event spaces, sports facilities, and commercial spaces, if warranted, food service preparation and points of sale, technology needs, sustainability requirements, accessibility, restroom to patron ratios, parking and loading dock requirements, hotel supply requirements, and others, as identified.
The outcome of a Market Study is clearly documented guidance to the Client group to empower decision-making on which option(s) best serve the community, economic development and tourism goals for the site and local/ regional areas.
A Site Analysis can be included as part of a Market Study or Feasibility Assessment, or can be a standalone exercise assuming some basis of information is available regarding the market-driven program of facilities and amenities. Potential sites are assessed for their appropriateness for the proposed development, with initial screening based upon size, proximity to supportive and supporting amenities, and opportunities for development. A more in-depth analysis will consider site size, topography, adjacent uses and urban linkages, access and parking. Depending on the level of detail required, Johnson Consulting regularly teams with experienced technical subconsultants to provide the level of information desired by the specific Client.
A Feasibility Analysis provides a 10 to 20-year operating proforma that outlines projected utilization, revenues, expenses, net operating income, and debt, building upon the research and analyses undertaken during a Market Study.
A. DEMAND ANALYSIS: Development of long-range demand projections addressing the number of events, number of event days, tournament/ daily use, number of visitors, and the amount of space required for the various event type, taking into account the characteristics of the market, the proposed program for the project and the overall appeal of the specific location opportunity. Definition of realistic target markets (including primary, secondary and tertiary trade areas) and potential “penetration” rate by market segment (residents and tourists). Testing of demand projections comparable facility demand, relative levels of supply and demand in the overall market and anticipated future market share.
B. FINANCIAL ANALYSIS: Estimates of income from various sources, including, but not limited to, sponsorships, advertising, concessions, and other non-traditional funding sources, and expenses such as staffing, maintenance, and general operations. The analysis documents our recommended approach to delivery of services, and other major line items affecting the operation, thus providing the Client with a clear understanding of how the facility(s) will earn and spend money, fit into the broader operations of the project and/ or the developer’s larger operations, and what the expected financial picture will be at the end of the year. To the extent that public dollars are to be used to support operations, capital improvements, or other items, these sources are also considered and integrated into the financial analysis.
The outcome of a Feasibility Analysis is clearly quantified demand and financial performance metrics for the venue(s) or facility(s), providing a framework for strategies to ensure the success of new development or existing operations.
FUNDING AND OPERATING STRATEGY
Funding and Operating Strategy is important for both existing and proposed venues and facilities. Our process involves detailed analysis and discussion regarding market-specific funding sources that are available to public and private facilities, including benefactor naming rights, tax increments, tax credits, and other specialized revenue streams. Recommendations relating to potential funding source focus on Return on Investment, maximizing private sector interest, job creation and image and brand development. Our analysis also discusses the pros and cons of various public and private ownership and operating models, and provides recommendations on potential local and regional partnerships, as appropriate.
ECONOMIC AND FISCAL IMPACTS ANALYSIS
Demonstrating the economic and fiscal impact of a proposed or existing venue or facility is an important tool for communicating the business case to public entities, potential partners and the community, and advancing the project from a vision to a reality. Our analysis quantifies direct spending impacts, and indirect and induced impacts, fiscal impacts, and local employment and income impacts based on standard multipliers sourced from IMPLAN (an input-output model that is widely regarded in the industry), during construction and annual operations. We also estimate annual tax dollars returned to the state and local governments as a result of increased business activity and personal income associated with the construction and operation of the project. Our methodology is shown in the following process chart.
Johnson Consulting provides a variety of services that help select the best development or operating partner for project. .
Request for Information (RFI)/ Request for Qualifications (RFQ) Drafting: Typically an RFI or RFQ is the first step in a procurement process, as it allows for a broad reach that garners interest in the project from various groups and maximizes the number of responses received.
Distribution of RFI/ RFQ: Includes direct distribution Johnson Consulting’s extensive list of contacts, as well as others specifically identified by the Client, and postings to relevant websites and publications.
Evaluation of RFI/ RFQ Reponses: Based upon the evaluation criteria set forth in the RFI/ RFQ, Johnson Consulting evaluates and ranks responses, and determines a short-list to receive a Request for Proposal (RFP), as outlined below.
Request for Proposals (RFP) Drafting: An RFP requires bidders to submit detailed proposals that may include schematic and/ or architectural drawings, cost proposals, detailed management plans and details regarding the financial capability of the bidder, among other requirements.
RFP Response Review: Prior to arriving at a final ranking, it is our experience that interviews and presentations should be conducted with the top-ranked respondents. While much knowledge can be gained from responses on paper, the Client will make its most well-informed decision after combining response information with presentation and question-and-answer clarifications with the top- ranked respondents. It is then that the character of each organization (or team) can be more accurately observed. After this step, final rankings of bidders will be made.
Negotiation of Agreement: Johnson Consulting provides advice and consultation to the Client during negotiations and as requested, serves as owner’s representative, organizing conference calls, meetings, and moderating discussions between the developer, Client, operator, attorneys, and other parties. Our role is throughout the process is to ensure that it is efficient, retains complete integrity, and results in a project that provides the benefits sought by the Client.
REPORTS AND MEETINGS
We are noted for the clarity, simple sophistication, and quality of our reports. The following are deliverable products that we will provide to Client representatives:
Draft Report: Include fully documented findings and recommendations and accompanied by appropriate graphics and presentation material.
Final Report: Fully documented Final Report addressing all client comments and refinements.
Presentation: A PowerPoint presentation detailing our findings and recommendations, to be provided following the issuance of our Final Report. Available to explain the study’s findings and recommendations to stakeholders and the community, if desired.
Johnson Consulting prides itself on meeting and exceeding all of our clients’ requirements and expectations. We achieve this by working closely with Client representatives, in person and through regular conference calls, to ensure the timely delivery of a study that addresses all relevant questions and concerns that arise during the study period.