Larry Wyatt, Principal of Wyatt Design Group and theme park and leisure destination master planning and design expert, along with Frederick Cochrane, Principal of Cochrane Consulting and highly regarded economic analyst, recently led a consultation process for a major new tourist attraction in Southern Maine.
A feasibility study looking at new year-round tourist attraction in the region has been commissioned by York Pines, Inc., a development group representing the City of Sanford. Tourism is Maine’s number one industry with 28 million visitors annually bringing in gross receipts of $2.6 billion and it is hoped that a new destination will be a catalyst for further growth.
The objective of the feasibility study is to identify the tourist attractions which are most likely to revitalize the city of Sanford and increase tourism in the Southern Maine region, together with recommending an implementation strategy.
Both Wyatt and Cochrane have extensive experience in the attractions industry and received a warm welcome in Sanford. Wyatt has designed and developed theme parks and leisure destinations around the world for a client list that includes Warner Bros., Paramount Studios, Universal Studios, Legoland, Busch Gardens and Sea World. Over the last 40 years Cochrane has produced feasibility reports for amongst others Snowmass at Aspen, Northstar at Tahoe, Sentosa Island, Kapalua, Disney World Magic Kingdom, Elitch Gardens, Knott’s Berry Farm.
Following a helicopter tour of the area Wyatt and Cochrane led the three day consultation which was attended by Sanford’s City Manager, State of Maine’s Senior Tourism Officer, Commissioner of Economic Development, and Governor Paul LePage.
The preliminary recommendations of the planning team were presented to the local economic restructuring committee of Sanford Downtown Legacy, whose mission is to redevelop the Mousam Waterfront, Sanford Downtown and the historic mills area into a thriving, energetic, commercial, social, cultural, residential and entertainment destination through economic restructuring and historic preservation.
Wyatt said, “We are very pleased to be included in this exciting process for Southern Maine. Working with Fred and the York Pines group this past week, we have the begun the vision for the ideal Maine destination. Our next steps will refine that vision into a creative, exciting concept that embraces current trends in leisure travel and complements the State of Maine’s tourism’s mission to become the premier four-season destination in New England. Fred’s economic analysis will assure that the concept is feasible and attractive to investors and developers.”