Plan, Preserve, Play: Statewide Tourism and Recreational Water Access and Resource Sustainability

SB Friedman is supporting the State of Nebraska to define visions and priority public investments in three different areas of the state. The study focuses on tourism, water access and economic development in the Lake McConaughy, Niobrara River and Lower Platte River Areas.

The goal of the study is to identify state capital investments that will catalyze tourism and economic development, retain and grow the population, and add employment in the three different study areas, as well as mitigate flooding in the Lower Platte River study area.

Working as part of a consulting team led by HDR, SB Friedman provided a market assessment for each study area to inform potential “game-changing” investments. The market assessments included:

  • Demographic and employment analyses for each region;
  • Economic cluster analyses;
  • Assessments of existing conditions including tourism and attractions;
  • Developing case studies of aspirational destinations; and
  • Identifying potential state investments in tourism attractions, lodging and housing with comparable examples.

Results: SB Friedman completed the market assessments for all three study areas. We also attended design workshops for the Lake McConaughy and Niobrara River Areas. The team’s final report is due before the end of 2021 and will be presented to the Governor. We anticipate the State moving priority projects forward starting in 2022.