Request for Proposal for an Economic Impact Study to be done on the River Park at Canal Place

The Canal Place Preservation & Development Authority (CPPDA) is seeking grant applications for a study that examines the visitor economic impact of River Park. As a dedicated advocate for the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources, CPPDA is keenly interested in understanding how the park contributes to the local and regional economy.

About River Park

River Park at Canal Place is situated in Cumberland, Maryland, and includes property in both with Maryland and West Virginia. It encompasses approximately 2 miles along the Potomac River, including the adjacent shorelines up to the top of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) levee. This 2-mile stretch is located approximately 0.5 miles upstream of the Blue Bridge and extends 1.5 miles downstream to the Carpendale Trestle.

Adjacent to River Park, numerous historic properties, including the C&O Canal Towpath National Historic Park and the National Road, offer cultural significance. Additionally, tourism opportunities abound with the presence of the Great Allegheny Passage trail and the Western Potomac Scenic Railroad.

Purpose of the Study

The primary objective of this study is to analyze and quantify the economic impact generated by visitors to the River Park. Specifically, this project aims to:

  • Estimate the total number of visitors to the park over a specified time period (e.g., 12 months).
  • Analyze visitor demographics and behavior, including their spending patterns, travel distances, and reasons for visiting the park.
  • Estimate the direct and indirect economic contributions of visitors to the local and regional economy.
  • Identify opportunities for enhancing the park’s economic impact through sustainable tourism and marketing strategies.

Scope of Work

The scope of work includes the following key components:

  • Economic, Demographic, and Market Analysis: Analyze the socio-economic characteristics such as population, employment, education, and income within 30-, 60-, 90-, 120-minute drive time radii from River Park.
  • Tourism Market Analysis: Conduct onsite visitor surveys at the C & O Canal Visitors Museum and other attractions in Cumberland to understand:
    • Trip characteristics (travel purposes, activities participated, overnight visitors or day trippers, group size, number of visits since Jan 1, 2023, etc.).
    • Spending during the current trip in Cumberland (gas, lodging, restaurants/bars, groceries, shopping, recreation equipment, tickets, etc.).
    • Likelihood of visiting River Park after its construction, either as a sole attraction or as a part of a broader set of attractions.
  • Economic impact analysis:
    • Calculate the direct economic impact, which includes visitor spending within the study area.
    • Estimate the indirect economic impact, which considers the ripple effects of visitor spending on other industries.
    • Assess the induced economic impact, which accounts for the re-spending of income earned from tourism-related jobs.
  • Reporting and Presentation:
    • Prepare a comprehensive report summarizing the study’s findings, methodology, and recommendations.
    • Include data tables, graphs, and maps to illustrate key points.
    • Deliver presentations of the findings to CPPDA and other relevant stakeholders.

Project Timeline and Milestones

  • Develop a detailed timeline outlining the various stages of the study and key milestones.


  • The maximum budget for this project is $24,999.00
  • Provide a budget that outlines the estimated costs for each phase of the study, including data collection, analysis, and reporting.
  • Any indirect expenses related to general operations outside of the scope of the project are not eligible as any costs to the project.

Grant Timeline

  • Final report due on Jan. 7, 2024.

The deadline for the proposal is September 25, 2023. Submissions must be sent to

Minority Business Enterprise companies are encouraged to bid.

The CPPDA has the right to accept or reject any and all proposals.