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Challenge: Create a Resort Vision

Complexity to Simplicity – Creating a Resort Vision

The Challenge

Some sites and market opportunities have ready-made solutions almost ‘off the shelf’ but recently we were faced with a more challenging situation in a European setting.

An initial assessment raised several clear obstacles to be overcome from a market, operational, competition and topographical perspective. These included access, environmental issues, planning restrictions and site specific challenges.

Where complexity arises in unusual locations, site specific challenges often need a multi-disciplinary approach and a flexible set of skills.

To resolve this we formed a team with experience of Hotel Market Appraisals & Feasibility, Tourism DevelopmentResort Operations and worked closely with David Edwards of Placemake, a Master Planner.

The Objective

To articulate a clear vision for a site that had a series of multi layered constraints.

The Tasks

Several steps were undertaken:

  • Extensive Market Research identified a range of alternative options from different international contexts. They varied in scale standard and complexity but had many characteristics that we felt could be considered.
  • Leading International Benchmarks from these options provided our client with a set of real life successful examples.  Despite not representing the typical  resort ‘market norm’…their points of differentiation provided unique selling points that set them apart.
  • Research & Analysis then led to an identification and refinement of the opportunities and challenges presented by our particular site.
  • Competitive Positioning Discussions with a wide range of potential operators and developers together with site visits to competitive resorts led to further validation of market trends This confirmed elements that could help provide our site with commercially sustainable facilities to ensure success.
  • Demand Assessment & Operational Considerations were built into an initial draft Business Model using initial assumptions subject to further physical assessments.


Refining the Facts

David then ‘peeled the onion’ (see illustration below). This examined in extensive detail the nature of the physical constraints and practical options that needed to be taken into consideration.

The process was done in stages and compared to the Business Model assumptions. From these exercises options began to emerge that ‘worked’ against our ‘ideal’ market, financial and sustainability criteria.


The Outcome

Set against our market findings these various steps helped define what was possible in various parts of the site from a physical standpoint.

We then matched these constraints and opportunities to set out where facilities could be located and to what scale.

The extensive market research findings and our detailed site examination led to us presenting a development vision with a style, scale and quality that matches the site distinctiveness with market opportunities.

Our vision was presented as an outline Master Plan supported by detailed market research, facility and accommodation schedules and illustrative business projections.

The resultant Business Case is part of an ongoing process as stakeholders review these outputs against their strategic objectives and regulatory requirements.


Thanks go to Jan Kympers of  Homard who thought of us in this context and the team who delivered the outputs: comprising Douglas Grant, David Edwards, Jim Fletcher and James Munro who contributed their respective areas of expertise.