ST. MARKS CONFERENCE FACILITY MARKET ANALYSIS

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1 ST. MARKS CONFERENCE FACILITY MARKET ANALYSIS Prepared by: Lambert Advisory, LLC Submitted to: St. Marks Waterfronts Forida Partnership

2 St. Marks Conference Center Contents Executive Summary... 1 Section 1: Economic/Demographic Profie... 6 Section 1a. Location Characteristics... 6 Section 1b. Genera Demographic Trends... 7 Section 1b.1 Income... 8 Section 1b.2 Empoyment... 8 Section 1c. Visitor Trends Section 1d. Loca Hote Profie Section 1e. Economic/Demographic Concusions Section 2: Event Industry, Comparabe/Competitive Anaysis, Benchmark Assessment Section 2a. Meeting/Event Profie Section 2b. Comparabe/Competitive Faciity Profie Section 2b.1 Attendance Section 2b.2 Renta, Catering and Other Section 2c. Benchmark Assessment Section 2d. Industry, Comparabe/Competitive, Bechmark Concusions Section 3: St. Marks Faciity Recommendations and Estimate of Performance Section 3a. Faciity Opportunites & Constraints Section 3b.1 Opportunities Section 3b.2 Constraints Section 3b. Faciity Design Recommendation Section 3c. Summary of Performance Assumption & Resuts Section 3d. Recommended Next Steps...35

3 St. Marks Conference Center Executive Summary Lambert Advisory has competed a market anaysis for the St. Marks Waterfronts Forida Partnership to assess the viabiity of ocating a conference center within the City of St. Marks, incuding market driven physica parameters for design of the space, as we as estimates of potentia performance and revenue that may be generated on an annuaized basis. The research and concusions contained herein is intended to provide the support for subsequent panning initiatives incuding site seection, aternative/expanded deveopment options (such as integration of hote and/or retai), operating anayses and financia structuring. For this anaysis, we examined the demand for use of the conference faciity for a variety of meetings, banquets and other events. The methodoogy for supporting the demand for various event uses at the St. Marks conference center incuded anayzing the current and future demand for meeting and socia event space. Specificay, this report comprises three separate sections as foows: Section 1 Economic/Demographic Profie anayzes the ocation and economic/demographic characteristics impacting the proposed faciity. The anaysis is based upon research reated to geography, popuation, income, empoyment and visitor trends. The foowing provides a highight of key findings within this section: There is estimated to be 11 miion peope iving within 250+ mies of the Taahassee region; however, the area remains a secondary/tertiary market for the event industry due in arge part to the fact that it is serviced ony by a regiona airport. Athough the region s popuation growth has moderated during the past severa years, growth is expected to steady. With a reativey young popuation base, this provides a soid foundation for continued growth in various segments of the events market. The region s median househod income wi continue to strengthen; however, income eves remain beow that of the State (and many other primary and secondary markets throughout the State) which may indicate a eve of price sensitivity for certain events. Though government empoyment growth is projected to sow during the next few years, stronger growth in the professiona and business services as we as FIRE sectors is a positive factor for the corporate meetings market. During a time when growth in visitation to Taahassee/Leon County has been very modest, the conference/meeting market has increased its presence in visitor demand and shoud continue to Page 1 of 36

4 St. Marks Conference Faciity strengthen during the next few years, especiay with the addition of any new quaity event venues. Section 2 Event Industry Profie, Comparabe/Competitive Anaysis and Benchmark Assessment starts with a genera understanding of the meeting/event industry and then focuses more intenty on the oca market with particuar attention on the performance of comparabe/competitive event faciities. Additionay, we provide a benchmark assessment of simiar type faciities in other secondary and tertiary markets to provide suppementary support for the estimates of performance and operation at the proposed St. Marks faciity. Key highights in this section incude: The Taahassee market is in need of arger/higher quaity event space with state of the art technoogy features. Hosting regiona (or nationa) events with a significant amount of attendees coming from outside the area generay requires on site or nearby hote suppy. The ack of adequate hote suppy and quaity of hote product has been a imiting factor for the Taahassee event market. Food and beverage service can be a very important component to faciity operations. The St. Marks area has imited food and beverage (catering) service options; therefore, the proposed St. Marks faciity wi ikey need to pan for a fu service, higher quaity kitchen. Athough annua attendance among the comparabe/competitive and benchmark properties varies consideraby, attendance among the more reevant properties ranges between 20,000 and 30,000 attendees per annum. Based upon an anaysis of revenue by source, with notabe insight from the benchmark assessment, annua revenue per attendee for simiar type event faciities primariy ranges from $16 to $20 per attendee (with food and beverage incuded on a net revenue basis). Based upon industry benchmarks, revenue neutraity for conference faciities is often difficut to achieve without integration of supporting uses (such as a hote) with which to share certain operating eements. As with many conference faciities throughout the US, operating and/or deveopment subsidies by the pubic sector are required. Section 3 St. Marks Conference Faciity Recommendations and Estimates of Performance provides the anaysis used to determine certain buid out recommendations for the faciity s design, as we as estimate performance projections for the prospective St. Marks conference center. Based upon the findings of the economic industry, market and faciity anayses undertaken herein, the foowing is a summary of design recommendations for the St. Marks conference faciity: Page 2 of 36

5 St. Marks Conference Faciity Athough ocation of the faciity has not yet been determined, we beieve positioning aong the waterfront wi be very important to the success of the St. Marks venue. The faciity shoud pan for approximatey 12,000 to 15,000 square feet of indoor meeting and banquet space, providing direct waterfront views to the river this incudes at east 8,000 to 10,000 square feet of contiguous space that can host more forma socia events. Additiona outdoor (mosty covered) ground foor/or second eve area and genera event space, situated directy aong the riverfront is recommended. 18 foot ceared ceiing height and finishes on the second foor incuding carpeting and wa covering which wi aow the faciity to host a wide range of events. A minimum of four breakout rooms generay ranging in size from 500 to 2,000 square feet with aerated was to provide fexibe meeting space options and access as we as window coverings which aow for back out during meetings and presentations. State of the art technoogy (audio/visua capabiities) with broadband wireess internet access is essentia. At east 2,500 square feet of kitchen catering space, incuding a fu service banquet kitchen. Based upon the potentia event and demand opportunity for St. Marks, we have prepared estimates of performance for the subject faciity categorized within three primary demand segments: meetings, conference and banquet/socia. This incudes projections on both a ower (more conservative) and higher (more aggressive) basis and considers a three year ramp up period to achieve performance stabiization, as demonstrated beow: Page 3 of 36

6 St. Marks Conference Faciity St. Marks Conference Faciity Estimate of Event and Attendance (through Stabiization) Events Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Meetings # Low # High Avg. Attendance Conference* # Low # High Avg. Attendance Banquet/Socia # Low # High Avg. Attendance Based upon the estimates of performance through stabiization, tota attendance for a events is estimated to range from approximatey 18,000 to 26,000 per annum by the third year of operations. As an average, this woud indicate approximatey 160 tota events with 140 attendees per event; or, a tota average annua attendance of 22,500 upon stabiization. The abiity to support increase event voume (number of events) above this ranges is impacted by the fact that St. Marks may not be the beneficiary of many sma and shorter duration events that wi ikey utiize hote or event faciities coser to Taahassee s downtown/centra area. Furthermore, it is very important to recognize that the abiity to attract some of the arger conferences, meetings and/or socia events that the faciity is capabe of hosting and factored into the estimates herein, may be dependent upon a hote faciity on site (or within the immediate area). These arger conference events wi be difficut to capture since they tend to be muti day events for which proximity to adequate rooms suppy is very important. Page 4 of 36

7 St. Marks Conference Faciity Based upon the revenue assumptions above, a summary of revenue projections has been prepared for the first three years of operations as foows: St. Marks Conference Faciity Estimated Events, Attendance & Revenue (through Stabiization) Event Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Avg. # Events Avg. Attendance Tota Attendance 8,858 15,616 22,400 Revenue/Attendee Space Renta $6.00 $6.50 $7.00 F&B Commission $7.00 $7.50 $8.00 Other $3.50 $4.50 $5.00 Tota Rev./Attendee $16.50 $18.50 $20.00 Tota Revenue Space Renta $53,148 $101,504 $156,800 F&B Commission $62,006 $117,120 $179,200 Other $31,003 $70,272 $112,000 Tota Revenue $146,157 $288,896 $448,000 Overa, we beieve that with the right ocation and faciity design, a conference center in St. Marks wi represent a superior venue within the market and wi effectivey compete for its for share of event business. However, as noted throughout, the integration of a supporting hote may prove critica the financia success of the event faciity. The viabiity of the hote component requires further investigation. Nonetheess, the addition of a hote into the deveopment pan may hep to position the St. Marks conference faciity as a desirabe corporate or socia retreat from which to everage upon the areas unique waterfront ocation, history and cuture. Aso, Lambert provided recommended next steps for the St. Marks Waterfront Forida Partnership. These steps incude site seection, a further evauation of a hospitaity component, and the deveopment of a conceptua pan and preiminary cost estimation to be discussed further in Section 3 of this report. Page 5 of 36

8 St. Marks Conference Faciity Section 1: Location Characteristics and Economic/Demographic Trends In order to gauge the opportunity for a conference center in St. Marks, it is important to first anayze the ocation and economic/demographic characteristics. The summarized anaysis is based upon research reated to popuation, income, empoyment and visitor trends. 1a. Location Characteristics St. Marks is ocated within Wakua County, which is part of the Greater Taahassee Metropoitan Area (aso referred to as the Taahassee Region). Within 250 mies (or a four to five hour drive time) of the Taahassee metro area there is an estimated 11,072,327 peope. Figure 1: 250 Mie Radius and Popuation Source: Lambert Advisory Birmingham Atanta Coumbia Montgomery Pensacoa![ [_ 251,490 1,735,369 Taahassee St. Marks Jacksonvie Gainesvie Daytona Beach 11,072,327 Tampa St. Petersburg Orando Fort Myers W For Hiaeah Miami Key West In spite of its reative proximity to many arge popuation bases, the Taahassee area remains a secondary/tertiary market; particuary as it reates to the conference/event industry primariy due in arge part to the fact that it is serviced ony by a regiona airport that had 462,233 enpanements, or the number of peope who board an airpane, in Comparativey, two consideraby arger meeting Page 6 of 36

9 St. Marks Conference Faciity markets in Forida, Jacksonvie (155 mies) and Tampa (185 mies) had 3,138,015 and 9,306,036 enpanements in the same year, respectivey. The cosest major nationa/internationa airports to St. Marks are Atanta s Hartsfied Jackson Internationa Airport (250 mies) and Orando Internationa Airport (232 mies), two of the busiest airports in the nation. Nonetheess, the Greater Taahassee market area sti has a reativey strong economic and demographic base from which to buid upon the opportunity for oca and regiona meetings and events. 1b. Genera Demographic Trends Leon County is the argest County in the four county Taahassee Metropoitan Statistica Area (MSA), which aso comprises Wakua, Gadsden and Jefferson counties. From 1990 to 2006, popuation in Leon County increased from 192,493 to 245,625, or an annua growth rate of 1.7 percent. Leon County popuation growth is projected to increase sighty through 2015 to 297,300, or about 3 percent annuay. Comparativey, the State of Forida as a whoe has increased in popuation by 40 percent, or 5,151,962 residents during the same sixteen year period ( ) at a rate of 2.5 percent annuay. Figure 2: Popuation Trends and Projections Taahassee Market Area Source: U.S. Census; Taahassee Panning Department Wakua County, which incudes the City of St. Marks, has a tota popuation of 29,542 in 2006, which is smaer than Gadsden County with 46,658 residents and fairy arger than Jefferson County with 14,677 residents (2006). Since 1990, the popuation in Wakua County has steadiy grown at a rate of 7 percent, or 958 residents annuay, but growth is projected to continue to rise at a fairy modest rate through The City of St. Marks represents a very sma portion of the County resident base with an estimated 2006 popuation of approximatey 313 persons. Page 7 of 36

10 St. Marks Conference Faciity Genera demographic characteristics within the region indicate that Leon County has a reativey young resident base with a median age of 31.4 years in 2006, compared to the State s a median age of Wakua County has a sighty higher median age of 36.8, but is sti reativey young compared to the State. Diversity trends in the region indicate a minor decrease in the white non Hispanic popuation, and increases in back and Hispanic popuations, which has historicay been the case; however, the white non Hispanic popuation sti represents more than 85 percent of the popuation in Wakua County, and 64 percent in Leon County. This increasing diversification often enhances the cutura richness of a region and in this case provides a unique opportunity for broadening the market for event reated activity. 1b.1. Income According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Leon County s median househod income has increased by more than 3.2 percent annuay between 1990 and 2006, and is currenty estimated to be $41,516. Based on growth rates, the median househod income for Wakua County in 2006 is estimated at $41,282. Figure 3: Median Househod Income Comparison by County Source: U.S. Census, Lambert Advisory Whie the Taahassee regiona income growth trends have been reativey strong, it is roughy 10 percent beow that of the State s median income of $45,495, and as much as 15 to 20 percent beow other seect metropoitan areas in Forida, such as Broward, Hisborough and Duva Counties as iustrated in the figure above. 1b.2. Empoyment According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Leon County and Wakua unempoyment rates for August of 2008 were 5.1 and 4.9 percent, respectivey; however, in ight of recent economic conditions on a nationa eve, it can be assumed that those eves are presenty higher. Historicay, Wakua County has Page 8 of 36

11 St. Marks Conference Faciity one of the owest unempoyment rates in the State and both Leon County and Wakua County generay remain beow the State and Nationa unempoyment eves. Forida s unempoyment rate in August was 6.9 percent, whie the Nation as a whoe had an unempoyment rate of 6.1 percent. Figure 4: Unempoyment Comparison for August, 2008 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics According to the Forida Department of Labor (ES 202) empoyment statistics for the Taahassee MSA (defined as Leon, Wakua and Gadsden counties) the tota 2007 empoyment base in the region was 195,419. Considering the fact that Taahassee is the state capita, government services represents the argest sector with 62,381 empoyees or 32 percent of the tota market. The professiona and business services sector is the second argest sector in the region with a current empoyment base of 20,513 or 10.5 percent of tota abor force. Based upon the Forida Department of Labor empoyment projections, tota empoyment for the region is forecast to reach 218,508 by 2015; or, a 1.5 percent annua growth rate during the next few years. As summarized in the figure beow, the government sector is expected to increase by 4,426 jobs (or neary 1 percent annuay). However, it is projected that by 2015, the professiona and business services sector wi increase by a tota of 25 percent (or 3.1 percent annuay). Page 9 of 36

12 St. Marks Conference Faciity Figure 5: Empoyment by Industry: Taahassee MSA Source: Forida Department of Labor Furthermore, despite the fact that FIRE (Finance, Insurance and Rea Estate) presenty accounts for ony 4.1 percent of the tota empoyment base, it is projected to increase to a tota of 15.8 percent (or 2.1 percent annuay) by This growth together with expected growth in the business services sector bodes we for the corporate event, training and meetings market opportunity. 1c. Visitor Trends Based upon historica visitor data and anaysis conducted by Forida State University for the Taahassee/Leon County CVB, between 1997 and 2000 the number of visitors to Leon County increased from 1.85 miion to 2.43 miion, or an average annua increase of 5.5 percent. Foowing a sight decine in 2001 as a resut of 9/11 and goba economic downturn, visitor trends increased from 2.2 miion in 2001 to 2.78 miion in However, during the ast three years, the Taahassee visitor base steadiy decined to its current eve with 2.4 miion visitors in Figure 6: Number of Tourist Visits Source: Taahassee/Leon County CVB Page 10 of 36

13 St. Marks Conference Faciity As summarized in Figure 7 beow, tourism spending achieved steady growth from 1997 to 2000; however, since that time, tota tourism expenditure has continued to decine, which is not consistent with the visitor trends. In 2002, tota visitor expenditure reached $874 miion (or $372 per visitor per year). In 2007, tota expenditure decined to $640 miion (or $267 per visitor per year). This represents a 30+ percent decrease in average annua visitor expenditure during the period. Figure 7: Tota Tourist Spending in Leon County Source: Taahassee/Leon County CVB Whie difficut to ascertain the reason for decining visitor expenditure during the past few years, the trend has continued. In a comparison of the second quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2007, visitor spending has decreased 22 percent overa, and 41 percent for conference/meeting traveers. Simiary, spending between the first and second quarter of 2008 has decreased by 29 percent overa, and 10 percent for conference/meeting visitors. In terms of visitor origin, demand is argey based in Forida, with Atanta as the ony notabe out of state origin, defining the Region as a driving market. Figure 8: Visitor Point of Origin Source: Taahassee/Leon County CVB Origin Jacksonvie 10.00% 9.80% 11.00% 6.00% Tampa 6.40% 7.30% 12.00% 18.20% Miami 4.50% 14.60% 9.00% 6.80% Orando 3.60% 12.20% 8.00% 8.00% Ft. Lauderdae 3.60% 7.30% 5.00% 5.70% Panama City 3.60% 0.00% 3.00% 3.40% Mebourne 2.70% 4.90% Atanta 1.80% 7.30% 9.00% 5.70% Page 11 of 36

14 St. Marks Conference Faciity Based upon those same survey resuts, from 2004 to 2007 visitation to the Taahassee region is predominatey driven by visits to friends and reatives, foowed by business and eisure trave. Conference/meetings represented ess than 10 percent of the visitor demand in 2007, which is neary a 60 percent increase from the previous year. Though the conference/meetings market is margina in terms of overa demand, growth trends are expected to continue during the next few years. Figure 9: Primary Reason for Visiting Taahassee Source: Taahassee/Leon County CVB Reason Friends/Reatives 35.90% 34.60% 39.90% 45.20% Business 25.10% 23.70% 19.90% 19.80% Leisure/Peasure 18.20% 21.40% 17.90% 18.80% Conference/Meeting 9.40% 5.90% 5.20% 4.70% Other 11.30% 14.30% 17% 11.80% Accordingy, the majority of visitor expenditures for convention/meeting visitors comprised of odging and restaurants, whie convention attendees spend ony 6 percent of their budget on recreation activities, which incude sports, eco tourism and entertainment. Given St. Marks waterfront ocation, there is an opportunity to promote eco activities for event visitors. In 2006, the per day expenditures by conference/meeting visitors was neary $285, which was higher than the average for the overa visitor market. However, in 2007, attendee expenditure decined to $240 which is sighty beow the current overa visitor average. 1d. Loca Hote Profie As wi be discussed further in this anaysis, hote suppy can pay an important roe in the conference and event industry. Within the Leon and Wakua Counties, there are roughy 2,500 hote rooms in 24 hotes, as seen in the figure beow. Over 90 percent of those hote rooms are in Leon County, predominatey in Taahassee, whie there are approximatey 162 rooms in Wakua County, the majority of which are ocated in Crawfordvie s two hotes on the Coasta Highway. Of these hotes, there is ony one, the DoubeTree in downtown Taahassee, that has over 230 rooms and there are ony four hotes with more than 150 rooms. On average, the hote market occupancy rate is roughy 65 percent with average daiy rates (ADR) in the $80 to $90 range, which represents a ess than stabe environment for supporting new product. Page 12 of 36

15 St. Marks Conference Faciity Figure 10: Accommodating Hotes in the Region Source: Taahassee/Leon County CVB ÆWÆW ÆW tu UV155 UV 61 ÆW ÆWÆW tu90 NORFLEET UV 20 UV 263 tu 90 UV ÆW 20 UV366 UV ÆW 371 ÆW UV 265 ÆWÆW ÆW TALLAHASSEE ÆW ÆW tu 319 ÆW tu 19 UV371 UV 373 UV 263 UV 61 UV 363 UV 61 WOODVILLE UV 267 ÆW WAKULLA tu 319 NEWPORT CRAWFORDVILLE tu 319 tu 98 [_ ÆW SAINT MARKS ÆW ÆW WAKULLA BEACH 1e. Economic Concusions Though economic and demographic trends in the Taahassee region have sowed during the past few years in comparison to the 1990s, the region is anticipated to experience positive growth abeit at a more modest pace. Importanty, there are certain economic/demographic characteristics within the oca and regiona market that may directy impact the meetings and event market for St. Marks incuding: Athough the region s popuation growth has moderated during the past severa years, growth is expected to positive. Steady growth, combined with a reativey young popuation base, provides a soid foundation for various segments of the events market. Page 13 of 36

16 St. Marks Conference Faciity The region s median househod income wi continue to strengthen; however, income eves remain beow that of the State (and many other primary and secondary markets throughout the State) which may indicate a eve of price sensitivity for certain events. Though government empoyment is projected to sow consideraby during the next few years, stronger growth in the professiona and business services and FIRE sectors is positive factor for the corporate meetings market. During a time when growth in visitation to Taahassee/Leon County has been very modest, the conference/meeting market has increased its presence in visitor demand and shoud presumaby become stronger with the addition of quaity venues. Page 14 of 36

17 St. Marks Conference Faciity Section 2: Industry, Comparabe/Competitive Market, & Benchmark Anaysis Evauating the viabiity of a proposed conference center in St. Marks depends argey upon economic and market conditions within the meetings and event market and, in particuar, the characteristics of suppy and demand for simiar type faciities. Therefore, this section starts with a genera understanding of the meeting/event industry and then focuses more intenty on the oca market with particuar attention on the performance of comparabe/competitive event faciities. Lasty, we provide a benchmark assessment of simiar type faciities in other secondary and tertiary markets to provide additiona support to our estimate of performance and operation at the proposed St. Marks faciity. 2a. Meetings/Event Industry Profie From an industry perspective, the meeting and event market is characterized by a wide range of meeting and assemby events reated to activities that provide entertainment or educationa benefits to sma or arge audiences. The meeting/events market is generay categorized by event types incuding, but not imited to: Conventions: Conventions primariy refer to arger scae association and professiona (incuding corporate) groups that typicay occur in convention centers, or hotes with significant event space. These events often produce trade shows (defined beow) to dispay products and services. To a arge degree, conventions require significant bocks of hote space on site or within cose proximity to the event faciity. Trade Shows: Trade shows aso represent a gathering of association and professiona groups; however, they mosty require more exhibition space with ess meeting needs. More so than conventions, trade shows predominatey attract attendees from arge metropoitan areas and adequate hote suppy within cose proximity is important. Trade show events require significant ground foor space (and height) to promote easy access and mobiity of persons and products. Consumer Shows: Consumer shows are simiar to trade shows, with the exception that the attendee is the genera pubic. Aso, the attendee is in many cases a oca/regiona resident. Simiar to trade shows, access and mobiity of attendees and products is important. Civic Events: These events primariy reate to community or institutiona activities such as graduation, sporting events and entertainment (e.g. concerts, circuses). These events typicay require stadium or theater type seating, with ess of a need for meeting space. Page 15 of 36

18 St. Marks Conference Faciity Socia, Miitary, Education, Reigious, and Fraterna (SMERF): SMERF business is often regarded as an independent event category; however, it can aso be a group within a convention/conference or trade show. As these events are re union type group meetings, educationa conferences and/or reigious gatherings, SMERF is commony price sensitive and produces ower revenue from anciary services compared to other event types. Corporate Meetings: For this anaysis, corporate meetings argey represent oca business gatherings or incentive based business trave. They typicay ast from a haf day to two days and provide for a mix of business reated meetings and socia gathers after hours. Banquet/Socia: Banquet and socia events can be part of a arger convention, conference and/or trade show, but for this purpose, primariy represents weddings, receptions, and/or award ceremonies serving the oca market or out of area visitors seeking a specific type destination/faciity, such as a resort or themed venue. During the 1990s, the growth in convention, trade show and event space was reativey strong ranging between 4 and 6 percent during most of the decade. However, as iustrated in the figure beow, the addition of suppy outpaced demand for much of the atter 1990s. Figure 11: Convention and Tradeshow Space and Attendance Trends 1988 to 2006 Source: Convention, Sports, and Leisure Internationa; Tradeshow Weeky Foowing a notabe suppy and demand downturn as a resut of 9/11 (and goba economic sowdown), the industry has achieved stabe 3 percent growth during much of the past three to four years. Page 16 of 36

19 St. Marks Conference Faciity Though the meeting and event industry may be impacted during the next few years by current and forecast economic conditions, it is evident from ong term historica trends that the industry remains argey in baance where suppy and demand track fairy eveny. For the arger meeting and event market incuding conventions, associations and tradeshows, here are certain attributes that, according to industry surveys and reports, drive demand for arger meetings and events: Avaiabiity and Quaity of Meeting Room Faciities For many conventions, association meetings and conferences, events are panned in the spring and fa and the avaiabiity of meeting within a restricted time frame is very important. This is of particuar importance when mutipe events occur within a market and not ony is adequate space needed, but the quaity of space is of importance as we. Quaity of Service Meetings and events are often specia occasions and, in many instances, a costy undertaking. Therefore, event sponsors and participants expect a high eve of service and wi return to, or simpy dismiss a ocation based on the quaity of hospitaity and professiona services (incuding event staff). Overa Affordabiity For many conventions and association meetings, particuary those that meet two or more times a year, affordabiity of event space (incuding anciary uses), hote and oca services (e.g. transportation) is important. Number of Seeping Rooms (on site or within cose proximity of faciity) Many convention/tradeshow, conference, and association meetings are mutipe days and an adequate bock of hote rooms is important. During certain occasions, groups wi be required to stay at different faciities during a meeting; however, the abiity to congregate within a imited number of hotes becomes a critica factor in the event panning process. The Type and Layout of Exhibit Space For arger conventions and tradeshows, the ayout and ogistics of product maneuvering within the exhibition space can be a determining factor for site seection among many organizations and event panners. For the smaer corporate meeting and event market, the attributes of the venue change somewhat compared to the arger meetings market. Page 17 of 36

20 St. Marks Conference Faciity Figure 12: Corporate Meeting Location Profie and Expenditure Characteristics Source: Professiona Convention Management Association (PCMA) According to the PCMA, neary haf of a corporate meetings are hed in downtown hotes, where proximity to businesses and hote suppy is important. As a matter of fact, conference centers capture ess than 10 percent of tota this event demand sector. Moreover, with 30 percent of corporate meeting/event expenditures going to food and beverage, hotes are we suited to host these types of events, especiay those with fu service kitchen faciities and higher quaity food service. Audio visua is the second argest expenditure foowed by entertainment and marketing. Faciity renta is among the smaer expenditure categories for corporate meetings and events, which correates to the practice of a hote discounting event space fees in order to secure more profitabe rooms and food/beverage revenue. Whie certain trends and characteristics observed within the broader meetings and event industry are important, identifying the opportunity and type of meeting or event that wi support the deveopment of a meeting faciity in St. Marks is heaviy impacted by market suppy, demand and competitive faciity characteristics specific to the regiona and oca market. 2b. Comparabe/Competitive Faciity Profie Based upon inventory data provided by the Taahassee/Leon County CVB, there are approximatey 30 comparabe faciities in the oca market. As iustrated in the foowing map (Figure 12), neary a of the faciities are situated within a 5 mie radius of Downtown Taahassee. Whie this may seem ike a arge number of faciities competing with a new deveopment at St. Marks, the fact is ony a handfu of properties woud be truy competitive with a new meeting and event venue. Page 18 of 36

21 St. Marks Conference Faciity Figure 13: Map of Faciities Source: Lambert Advisory Page 19 of 36

22 St. Marks Conference Faciity Figure 14: Fifteen Largest Comparabe/Competitive Faciities Source: Taahassee/Leon County CVB Faciity Number of Rooms Tota Area (Sq. Ft.) Largest Room Smaest Room North Forida Fairgrounds 5 60,000 12,000 12,000 Taahassee Automobie Museum 3 20,000 15,000 2,500 FSU University Cub 10 19,887 7, Taahassee Leon County Civic Center 6 16,000 10, City Ha 6 9,102 6, Chaenger Learning Center 6 8,685 4,400 FSU Student Services Buiding 9 8,395 3, Ramada Inn Conference Center 9 7,118 3, Cross Creek Driving Range 1 6,500 6,500 6,500 DoubeTree Hote 7 6,000 4, Women's Cub of Taahassee 2 5,800 5, Ek's Lodge 3 5,700 5,700 2,800 Park Paza Hote 6 5,200 1, FSU Moore Auditorium 1 4,919 4,919 4,919 Residence Inn by Marriott 5 4,200 1, First and foremost, there are ony about 15 faciities in the market that offer more than 3,000 square feet of contiguous space. Moreover, ony four faciities offer a singe contiguous space of at east 7,500 square feet. This severey imits the market s abiity to host arger events of 500+ attendees; particuary for a sit down/roundtabe occasion that require 12 to 14 square feet per attendee. Furthermore, many of the faciities within the market are stricty used for socia gatherings due to the fact that they are oder faciities that ack the technoogy to support corporate meetings. There is no coincidence that the ack of arger scae, state of the art event and meeting space were two of the top three top reasons that the market turned away 22 potentia events in 2008 (based upon Lambert s cursory assessment of a oss business report provided by the Convention and Visitors Bureau). The other imiting factor was ack of adequate hote suppy. We beieve there are six faciities that wi effectivey compete with the proposed St. Marks venue for meetings and events, incuding: Taahassee Automobie Museum: The Taahassee Automobie Museum is ocated roughy five mies from downtown Taahassee, but within cose proximity to I 10. The faciity, which opened ast year, comprises 20,000 square feet of tota space which incudes a 15,000 square foot open (banquet) area that rents for $0.10 a square foot. The faciity has up to date technoogy with average quaity event space. The faciity is host to approximatey 250 events per year with an average attendance of 70 peope. The majority of the business (75 percent) is from socia events, with corporate and government meetings combined representing the remaining 25 percent. Page 20 of 36

23 St. Marks Conference Faciity Ek s Lodge: The Ek s Lodge is ocated one haf mie from downtown and hosts approximatey 130 meetings per year, with an estimated annua attendance of 22,000+. There is a tota of 5,700 square feet of event space with two breakout rooms. The faciity is oder, acks state ofthe art technoogy, and is better suited for banquet stye events, such as reunions or parties, rather than corporate meetings. However, the faciity reportedy does draw corporate demand that is argey the resut of reative affordabiity. FSU University Cub: Located in Doak Campbe Stadium, the faciity compiments five other comparabe conference centers on campus. The faciity has a tota 19,887 square feet within 10 rooms and is abe to accommodate anywhere from 20 to 1,000 peope in its meeting, banquet, or theater stye rooms. Additionay, there are two outdoor baconies and a restaurant on site that increase maximum capacity. The venue offers new technoogies and is versatie enough to host any type of event. DoubeTree Hote Center: DoubeTree Hote is ocated in the heart of downtown and remains one of the more popuar meeting/event centers in the market. However, the DoubeTree has ony seven rooms totaing 6,000 square feet and is best suited for sma conference stye meetings. The argest contiguous space is 4,914 square feet. Whie functiona, the conference rooms are somewhat dated, of esser quaity and ack sufficient breakout configurations. Taahassee Leon County Civic Center: Located near downtown Taahassee and the FSU campus, the venue is by far the argest faciity in the region. It offers adequate foor space for conventions and exhibitions, as we as meeting/conference rooms. However, outside of the arena foor, there are six rooms totaing 16,000 square feet, with the argest conference room equaing 10,800 square feet. The venue hosts roughy 600 conferences and meetings with an average attendance of 50+ peope, or a tota 30,000+ annua attendees. The venue is equipped with new technoogy, and renta rates range from $400 a day to $2,200 per day, depending on the room. Much of the meeting/conference attendance is driven by a arger trade show or convention business. North Forida Fairgrounds: A non profit venue, the North Forida Fairgrounds is ocated south of downtown. The cosest hote is approximatey 2.5 mies away and, for this, some business has reportedy turned away. Though it offers the argest tota covered event space in the area (60,000 square feet), it comprises five buidings each with 12,000 square feet of fixed, undividabe space; therefore, that are i suited to sma meetings and events. The faciity, which is host to tradeshows and events such as gun shows and the Scottish Games, it is aso popuar for arge training/testing seminars and arge socia events that require arge contagious space. Page 21 of 36

24 St. Marks Conference Faciity The faciity acks any reevant technoogica amenities. The daiy rate for renting a buiding at the Fairgrounds starts at $850 per day. Based upon a profie of the comparabe/competitive faciities above, we have assessed the market performance for meetings in terms of attendance and space renta/catering revenue. 2b.1 Attendance Though we were not provided detaied attendance and/or other operating information at a few of the comparabe/competitive properties summarized above, four faciities provide an indication of the event mix and attendance performance achieved within the market. Figure 15: Profie of Seect Comparabe/Competitive Event Faciities Source: Taahassee/Leon County CVB Tota Attendees Average event size Socia Corporate Governmenta Conference Center Taahassee Automobie Museum 17, ,125 2,275 2,100 % of tota 75% 13% 12% North Forida Fairgrounds 30, ,075 18,150 3,025 % of tota 30% 60% 10% Taahassee/Leon County Civic Center* 31, ,650 12,922 3,164 % of tota 31% 59% 10% Ek's Lodge 22, ,787 7,962 % of tota 65% 35% The Fairgrounds and the Civic Center reported the highest attendance eves with roughy 30,000+ annua attendees. The event business at both venues was predominatey corporate based, with imited supporting demand from socia events. However, more in depth anaysis of performance at these two venues indicates a few notabe factors. For the Fairgrounds, there is a considerabe amount of demand from training, testing and reated activity. Whie these tend to be arge group events, with average 550 attendees, they are typicay ower revenue producing events that do not generate substantia anciary food and beverage and audio visua revenue. Moreover, we beieve that the demand argey being referred to as corporate is more appropriatey categorized as SMERF business. For the Civic Center, the downtown faciity is ikey to remain the ony event venue of this size in the market for years to come and wi continue to be at a competitive advantage to capture its fair share of meeting and event business, much of which is driven by arger trade shows and conventions that require this size faciity. Page 22 of 36

25 St. Marks Conference Faciity The Ek s Cub and the Automobie Museum, which reported annua attendance of 22,000 and 17,500, respectivey, provide an adequate indication of the demand opportunity for socia events, but woud be ess competitive with a new faciity at St. Marks for corporate meeting events given their ack of break out capacity and, in the case of the Eks Cub, the quaity of space and technoogy infrastructure. 2b.2 Exhibition/Meeting/Banquet Space Renta, Catering and Other Faciity renta rates for tradeshow, meeting and/or banquet space is generay standardized within the market. As such, renta rates for conference rooms generay range from $0.08 to $.20 per square foot. Within the market, actua renta contract pricing may be heaviy impacted by specific issues; notaby, the need for hote rooms and catering business. As a primary component of the corporate and socia event industry, food and beverage services provide a significant source of revenue, and are typicay a primary profit generator. Based upon interviews with oca caterers and event panners, there are a imited number of faciities, most notaby the DoubeTree and Women s Cub that provide in house catering or have excusive arrangements with caterers. As such, the on site presence of a quaity food and beverage kitchen may provide a competitive advantage for new faciities within this particuar market; however, the buid out of this type of space is typicay very costy. Based upon our discussion with oca event panners and meeting faciities, the average food and beverage bi per attendee for most events is generay summarized as foows: Figure 16: Genera food and Beverage Costs Source: Lambert Advisory Average Food Check ($ per attendee) Breakfast Lunch Dinner Drinks $8 to $10 $18 to $22 $28 to $32 $8 to $10 It shoud be noted that these food prices are per pate per attendee. Where there is a buffet stye set up, the prices are generay about $3 to $4 cheaper during unch and dinner. 2c. Meeting and Event Faciity Benchmark Assessment Athough there are a number of meeting and event venues within the Taahassee area that wi be competitive with the proposed conference faciity in St. Marks, ony a very few represent a traditiona conference and event center that is highy desirabe to both the meeting and socia event market. For instance, the Automobie Museum, which is considered to be among the most comparabe/competitive faciities to St. Marks, was deveoped under the concept of a museum with event space integrated to primariy support socia events within a unique museum attraction. With imited meeting space and breakout capacity, the faciity is not geared toward this segment of the market. Simiary, the Ek s Page 23 of 36

26 St. Marks Conference Faciity Lodge is a socia event venue that is oder, and acks reevant physica and technoogica capabiities that can attract meetings and/or higher quaity socia events. The University Center at Doak Campbe Stadium is competitive because it is equipped with upscae amenities and offers mutipe options for event ayouts. Therefore, in the effort to gain additiona insight into performance and operating characteristics of more traditiona conference faciities, we competed a benchmark assessment of smaer conference centers ocated in secondary and/or tertiary market areas throughout the US. Importanty, we recognize that in no way do these faciities represent competitiveness to the St. Marks area. Instead, we beieve these faciities are simiar type stand aone venues deveoped to support a baanced mix of conference/meeting, socia and other smaer civic events. These seect venues were chosen due to the fact that Lambert Advisory has in house performance and operating statistics for these venues. Information from some of the venues is pubic; however, information from others is confidentia. Therefore, for purposes of this exercise, the benchmark anaysis is presented as an aggregation of the faciities, extrapoating key indices from each faciity to hep support certain performance and operating assumptions at St. Marks. The faciities profied as part of the benchmark assessment incude three faciities in Forida (Jacksonvie, Hisborough County, and Miami Dade County), as we as two faciities in Norfok (VA), Sedona (AZ), and two in Texas (Midand and Corpus Christi). Note, two smaer faciities (8,000 and 12,500 square feet) represent proposed faciities in the Forida market for which Lambert competed comprehensive market and operations anayses; accordingy, these event faciities are recreationa/community faciities primariy supported by a oca market, but which have been incuded as part of this an anaysis given their reevance for certain operation statistics and ratios. The remaining six faciities represent more traditiona conference venues with a regiona demand base ranging in tota size from 25,000 to 50,000 square feet. The foowing tabe provides a summary of estimated performance characteristics and our estimate of the median range given our weighted evauation based on varying faciity and/or market characteristics. Page 24 of 36

27 St. Marks Conference Faciity Figure 17: Benchmark Assessment Summary (Seect Faciity Profie) Source: Lambert Advisory, LLC (In house Data) Est. Range Est. Median Annua Attendees: 13,200 63,000 33,000 Avg. # Attendees/Event: Revenue Per Attendee Space Renta: $4 $8 $6 F&B (Commission): $4 $10 $7 Other (A/V, Tee.): $1 $6 $4 Tota: $12 $23 $17 Expense Per Attendee Labor: $4 $14 $10 Other Ops: $3 $16 $8 Tota: $7 $30 $18 Annua attendance among the competitive set ranges from 13,000 to 63,000 attendees. The higher end of the range represents the arger faciities that tend to have a more regiona draw. The median annua attendance among a faciities is estimated to be approximatey 33,000 attendees. For the majority of faciities providing event data, the number of annua meeting, socia and other events ranges from 225+ events to 350+ events, with average attendance primariy defined within the 50 to 200 person per event range. We estimate median attendance to be in the 100 persons per event range; however, it is important to note that three of the venues are situated in a centra/downtown area and therefore a number of events comprise sma corporate meeting activity (e.g. 50 persons or ess) with short duration such as a breakfast meeting or evening presentation. An important component of the benchmark assessment competed herein is the evauation of operating statistics, namey an understanding of primary revenue and expense items. There are three primary categories to define sources of revenue for conference and/or event faciities: space renta, food and beverage, and other (which incudes audio visua, advertising and anciary charges). For faciity renta income among the benchmark properties, revenue generay ranges from $4 to $8 per attendee, or an average of roughy $6 per attendee. This is a reativey defined range among most event faciities throughout secondary market areas, incuding the Taahassee market. As an exampe, for an event with 200 to 250 persons utiizing event space of 7,000+ square feet, this woud indicate a renta Page 25 of 36

28 St. Marks Conference Faciity rate approximatey $0.15 per square foot which is directy in ine with rate structure within the subject s comparabe/competitive and benchmark faciities. For the most part, food and beverage service is an independent business within a conference faciity. An evauation of the food and beverage service can be very comprehensive and is dependent upon physica characteristics and the capacity of the kitchen, as we as the operator. Whie most of the seect faciities comprise a fu service kitchen and encourage utiization of their faciities to support events, many events prefer to have this service provided by an outside vendor that wi pay a commission to the event faciity for utiization of their kitchen faciity. In the absence of a more comprehensive food and beverage operations anaysis (which is beyond the scope of this anaysis), we beieve the most effective way to compare food and beverage operations among a wide range of faciities is to derive possibe revenue on a net revenue basis (e.g. after cost of goods sod). Based upon our profie of benchmark faciities, food and beverage net revenue generay ranges between $4 and $10 per attendee. This can be argey supported by an anaysis of food and beverage charges in the oca comparabe/competitive market. As summarized in the comparabe/competitive section above, the average food bi among the oca market generay ranges between $18 and $32 per attendee, with an additiona $8 to $10+ average beverage bi. If net revenue is assumed to be in the $7 per attendee range, this represents a net profit margin in the 30 percent range, which is considered reasonabe for conference faciity food and beverage service. Simiar to food and beverage service, anciary (other) income is based upon each faciities audio/visua capabiities, communications set up, HVAC capabiity, and other physica characteristics/improvements. As a resut, and iustrated within the benchmark anaysis, anciary income can range from a margina $1 per attendee to an average $6+ per attendee. In a, the benchmark assessment indicates tota revenue from a sources ranging from $12 to $23 per attendee, with median revenue of approximatey $17 per attendee. Athough this market study is not intended to estimate operating expenses associated with conference faciity at St. Marks, the information contained within our benchmark assessment provides a very genera understanding of the cost associated with faciity operations that may prove hepfu in subsequent panning efforts. Conference faciities can be very unique among themseves; therefore, comparing operations can be compicated considering the fact that some faciities may be pubicy owned. Whie these types of faciities may operate independent of city management (e.g. private operator), there can be shared expenses such as payro, insurance and/or rea property tax that appy to one faciity but not another. Page 26 of 36

29 St. Marks Conference Faciity This differentiation becomes cear within the benchmark anaysis that indicates expenses ranging from a very ow $7 per attendee (which does not incude any food and beverage operations) to a high of $30 per attendee, with an estimated median expense of $18 per attendee. This argey affirms an industrywide understanding that revenue neutraity within a standaone conference is difficut to achieve; therefore, many cities participate (or subsidize) in the deveopment and, in many cases, the operations of a conference venue. 2d. Concusion to Industry, Comparabe/Competitive & Benchmark Assessment The insight derived from a profie of the meeting event industry, comparabe/competitive market and benchmark assessment provides the basis for projecting attendance and specific operating resuts for a proposed conference faciity in St. Marks. We recognize there are eements of the anaysis that may not directy appy to a meeting/event venue in St. Marks; however, there are key characteristics within this anaysis that do provide critica insight into on going panning efforts; notaby: Regardess of venue ocation within a primary, secondary or tertiary market, the quaity of space is an important factor in the event panning process. As such, there needs to be adequate open area, banquet and break out meeting space to effectivey compete for a variety of events/business segments. In a market that is need of arger/higher quaity event space and state of the art technoogy features, a we panned faciity in St. Marks can promote a superior venue within the oca market that appeas to a sectors of the events business. For mid to arger scae events (500+ attendees), banquet/baroom area of more than 7,500 square feet is important. The Automobie Museum and University Cub are the ony faciities in the oca market to offer higher quaity banquet space in this size range. The abiity to host regiona (or nationa) events with a significant amount of attendees coming from outside the area requires on site or nearby hote suppy. Therefore, absent the opportunity for St. Marks to viaby integrate hote suppy on site or within cose proximity of the property, the capabiity to host such events is impacted. For faciities panning to attract corporate meetings and socia events, food and beverage service is a critica component to faciity operations. With imited food and beverage (catering) service within cose proximity to the proposed faciity at St. Marks, the venue wi ikey need a fu service, higher quaity kitchen. Athough annua attendance among the comparabe/competitive and benchmark properties varies consideraby, average attendance at the more reevant properties ranges between 20,000 to 30,000 generay hosted within at tota 150 to 300 events per annum. Page 27 of 36

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