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elaine carmichael, AICP


Elaine Van S. Carmichael founded Economic Stewardship, Inc. in 1999.  She provides consulting services to public sector entities in need of tourism development strategies, market demand and feasibility analysis, economic action plans, and community revitalization.  Stakeholder and leadership participation, often in facilitated sessions, is always a key component of her work.

economic and fiscal impact analysis

Clients often ask that economic and/or fiscal impact analyses be conducted for existing projects, proposed attractions or policies under consideration, including tourism and economic development strategies.  Recent projects include:

  1. Economic Impact Analysis Tool National Scenic Byways System
  2. Economic Impact Analysis – National Aviation Heritage Area in Dayton, Ohio
  3. Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis – Alternative Future Development Pattern in Temple, Texas
  4. Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis – Alternative Future Development Patterns in Bucks County, PA
  5. Impact Review:  Mountain Creek Resort – Vernon, New Jersey
  6. Impact Review – New Communities outside Washington, Chicago, Boston and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore
  7. Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis of Fifth-Forbes Proposed Project - Pittsburgh


tourism development

Many regions that retain Ms. Carmichael wrestle with competing objectives:  preserving community character and ambiance while attracting economic development. Her  tourism development strategies focus on helping regions celebrate their cultural heritage and physical assets, optimizing the preservation and interpretation of indigenous resources to benefit residents and to attract an appropriate volume of appreciative visitors.  These resources often include: unspoiled and scenic landscapes; unsung roles in history, native arts, crafts, folklore, and food; original structures and authentic artifacts, and traditional ways of life.  Her strategies entail identifying ways to spur economic activity and stimulate sensitive private sector investments that enhance the experience for future residents and travelers.  Developing a tourism industry requires striking a balance between investing in visitor product (“things to see and do”), investing in visitor services (“places to eat, sleep and shop”) and bolstering organizational capacity.  Recent projects include:

  1. Heritage Tourism Development Strategy – Redwood Coast, California
  2. Heritage Tourism Development Strategy – Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area
  3. Heritage Tourism & Marketing Strategy – Breckenridge, Colorado
  4. Heritage Tourism & Marketing Strategy – State of Colorado
  5. Heritage Tourism & Marketing Strategy – State of Pennsylvania
  6. Tourism & Marketing Strategy – Southern Passages:  The Atlantic Heritage Coast
  7. Cultural Tourism Initiative– Erie and Niagara Counties, New York
  8. Tourism & Marketing Strategy – Atchafalaya Trace Heritage Area
  9. Tourism & Marketing Strategy – State of Massachusetts

cultural attractions

Cultural facilities that retain Ms. Carmichael want to become more sound financially or better understand the breadth and depth of available market support as they contemplate physical and programmatic expansions and the concomitant feasibility implications.  She develops marketing, earned revenue, and fund-raising strategies as part of business planning efforts for a wide range of commercial and not-for-profit institutions throughout the United States.  Recent clients include:

  1. Master Plan for the Flint Hills Discovery Center – Manhattan, Kansas
  2. Strategic Plan the State History Museum of Tennessee
  3. Business Plan for the Susquehanna Art Museum
  4. Strategic Plan forAcademy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences Museum – Los Angeles
  5. Strategic Plan for Creating Children’s District – Indianapolis Children’s Museum
  6. Business Plan for the Jamestown Children's Museum – Jamestown, New York

economic development

Ms. Carmichael’s economic development plans often involve strategies to attract new businesses, expand and retain existing ones, improve job training offerings, foster public-private partnerships and business alliances, and increase inter-governmental and inter-agency coordination and cooperation.  Recent projects include:

  1. Economic Action Plan – Annapolis, MD
  2. Economic Action Plan – Pike County, KY
  3. Framework for Regional Growth – Erie and Niagara Counties, New York
  4. Economic Action Plan for St. Mary Parish, Louisiana
  5. Economic Action Plan for the 7,000 ac Volunteer Army Ammunitions Plant – Chattanooga

community development

Often collaborating with other firms, Ms. Carmichael provides the economic and real estate analysis essential for creating achievable community development plans.  Many communities persevere in their recovery from urban renewal and the suburbanization of office and retail land uses.  Revitalization entails finding ways to increase the relevance of traditional downtowns to market area residents and employers, often by clustering regional cultural resources and invigorating esplanades and other public spaces.  Recent projects include:

  1. Downtown Plan for Asheville, North Carolina
  2. Comprehensive Plan for Cheektowaga, New York
  3. Susquehanna River Towns, Pennsylvania
  4. Elm Street Neighborhood Revitalization Plan Program Development, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  5. Revitalization Plan for Downtown Durham, North Carolina
  6. Character-based Approaches to Keeping Downtown Retail Vibrant – Lawrence, Kansas
  7. Revitalizing Downtown Richmond, Virginia’s Historic Jackson Ward 

Ms. Carmichael received her BA from Yale University and her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. 

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