PRESS RELEASE: Buffalo City Park Market Study

PRESS RELEASE: Buffalo City Park Market Study Main Photo

28 Oct 2020


Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Ms. Connie Ova, CEO



Buffalo City Park Market Study Completed

“Buffalo City Park will be a major state tourism attraction. It is the right project at the right time for Jamestown and, indeed, for North Dakota.”

                                                                           Robert W. McTyre, President

                                                                 Apogee Attractions LLC

    The Jamestown Stutsman County Development Corporation (JSDC) today released the results of its formal market study for the Buffalo City Park project. The “Market and Financial Assessment Final Report“will now be sent to the ND Department of Commerce and its Tourism Division for their review. The market study was commissioned to finalize the “Concept and Master Plan” completed earlier this summer by Apogee Attractions LLC and provided to the state at that time.

    “The five-year financial projections show a successful investment without including the positive ‘multiplier effects’ that would result from this project,” according to Connie Ova, CEO of JSDC. “The study projects annual gross revenues averaging over $14 million with annual net earnings of some $3 million. This study provides a solid foundation for the creation of Buffalo City Park.”                                                                                 

    The detailed, 70-page study was conducted by Peter Kaanapu, Jr. the chief economist at Apogee Attractions LLC. It includes extensive demographic and economic analysis along with exhibits, charts and financial projections to determine the viability of the project.  Mr. Kaanapu has conducted similar market studies in the United States and in 28 countries around the world for a variety of themed entertainment, hospitality and mixed-use facilities. His conclusions support the construction of this new “state tourism attraction on state-owned land.”

    Some of the many highlights in the study include:

Site location -- The state-owned land at Exit 258 is a “highly desirable” location for a new tourism attraction due to its easy access and excellent I-94 visibility. The fact that there would be no land acquisition cost to the state is a significant plus. The site also enables the state to generate revenue from currently non-revenue producing land. 

Competition -- There is virtually no competition for a regional themed destination in this part of North Dakota.  Buffalo City Park would be the “premier attraction” that would also be able to compliment and promote other tourist attractions in the western part of the state. It would serve as a “tourism gateway.”

Market Size -- There is a sizeable market of over 1.6 million people that includes current residents and annual visitors to the region. Additional growth in the market could be expected if hotel facilities and additional infrastructure were developed near the facility.

Attendance Projections -- The study uses conservative, seasonally adjusted attendance projections due to the climate/weather conditions of the area. Annual paid attendance during the first five years of operation ranges from 227,000 to 256,000 people.

Financial Analysis -- The study concludes that Buffalo City Park would be a successful investment for the state of North Dakota.  Approximately $70-76 million of taxable revenue would flow through the park during the five-year period analyzed.  The project would also provide net earnings to the state of $14-15 million during the same period. An investment of $60 million to build the attraction would be warranted according to the study. The facility would open in early 2024.

“North Dakota needs this new tourist attraction to further diversify our economy,” said Searle Swedlund, Executive Director of Jamestown Tourism. “Buffalo City Park would demonstrate a real commitment to expanding the tourism industry in our state.  It would turn our rhetoric into reality.” 

Full Market Study