Based on respected economic impact models developed by the Recreational Marine Research Center at the University of Michigan, the University of Florida, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences at the College of William and Mary, and after consulting at length with the Kent County office of Tourism and Economic Development, the Coalition believes that the restoration of Chestertown’s waterfront will result in the following measurable impacts:
- Growing the Economy: The annual regional economic impact of this project will be $1.7-$2.2 million, representing an increase of almost 8% to Chestertown’s $25.6 million tourism economy and 4% to the $55.7 million tourism economy of Kent County.
- Creating New Jobs: This project will support 30-45 jobs in Chestertown and Kent County.
- New Tax Revenue: This project will generate $150,000 annually in new state and local tax receipts.
- Preserving Existing Jobs: Revitalizing Chestertown’s waterfront will preserve up to 15 existing jobs that are directly tied to ongoing businesses on the waterfront that could be lost if action is not taken.
- New Business for Marinas & Marine Trades: By providing new options for visiting boaters to cruise Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the revitalization of Chestertown’s waterfront will generate new traffic to existing area marinas while providing additional work for the region’s marine trade industry.
- Supporting the Region’s Festival Economy: Chestertown’s revitalized waterfront will significantly enhance several annual waterfront-based festivals that draw tens-of-thousands of tourists to Chestertown each year and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for the local economy.
- Coordinating with Chestertown’s Arts Master Plan: The revitalization of Chestertown’s public waterfront is a component of the Town’s Arts Master Plan, recently funded by a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The plan envisions significant, coordinated investments along the waterfront to create a unique destination for visitors.