Saturday, March 04, 2006

Lessons Learned From Site Visits

Todd Thoman, our ace ED person at Agracel, returned from a Norfolk Southern ED Conference where Randy Broome from Duke Power shared his top 10 lessons learned from doing numerous site visits over the years. I’ve encountered my share of these same problems over the years and thought that you would enjoy them also. Here they are:

10. Some “sites” aren’t really sites.

9. It is not good form for the local developer to get lost on their way to the site.

8. It is not good form for the local developer to run out of gas on their way to the site.

7. The number of major bumps in the access road is directly proportional to how fast the local developer drives.

6. Site consultants don’t give a damn about “the oldest barber shop” or “the first hydrant” in the county.

5. Site consultants DO care about “the best barbeque restaurant” in a community—EVERY time!

4. Helicopters are fun (for awhile); and they don’t need doors!

3. If a gas or water utility rep doesn’t know the answer, the answer is always “It won’t be a problem!”

2. If a site ain’t got no deer stand, it ain’t no site

1. Them big hills is why God made Caterpillar


Jeff Slate said...

Site selection consultants and their profession continue to evolve. At the site visit it seems like they have ongoing challenges based on the list of problems that Randy shared with the Southern Economic Development Conference. It also seems that technology, the Internet, and GIS are helping them do their jobs better and faster so that they can take virtual site visits. I just read an article in Business Xpansion Journal called Online Mapping Analysis Accelerates Site Selection ( which is really great. There are quotes from corporate real estate and site selection experts such as Bob Ady of site selection company Ady International (, Gene DePrez of IBM Business Consulting Services (, Jon Roberts of economic development consulting company TIP Strategies (, and Anatalio Ubalde of economic development website company GIS Planning Inc ( The article includes case studies of attracting Dell using the Oklahoma City economic development website ( It also includes a case study about the State of Oregon site selection website ( and how it is helping rural communities attract jobs. The Internet is certainly a great tool for small and rural towns to promote themselves on a heavily used communication and research environment. The combination of real estate, interactive maps, and demographic information is very valuable.

BoomtownUSA said...

Jeff: You have put a number of great examples and resources for site selection. Thanks for sharing them with my readers.