Attractions industry news

02 Aug 2018

AECOM Economics transferring European operation to US, Middle East and Asia

AECOM – the multinational consulting and engineering firm that provides design, feasibility, masterplanning and construction services to clients all over the world – has dissolved the London-based European division of its entertainment economics arm.

Founded in 1958, when it was known as Economics Research Associates, the Los Angeles-based company completed many assignments for the Walt Disney Company in its early years, before being acquired by AECOM in a landmark deal in November 2007.

Following the acquisition, ERA transitioned to become the economics division of AECOM, helping clients evaluate and make decisions around projects and policies regarding feasibility, financial requirements, social impact, risk and prospects for success.

Projects included the likes of Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi and the AT&T Stadium in Texas, US.

Following the closure, AECOM will run its European entertainment economics operation out of its office in the US, the Middle East and Asia.

The division also produces the annual TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index reports.

John Robinett, senior vice president of Economics at AECOM, told Attractions Management:"Due to a decline in attractions- and resorts-related economics volume in Europe, AECOM has decided to lead its entertainment economics services to clients in Europe through our offices in the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East, rather than through London.

"AECOM is committed to supporting the Theme Index and Museum Index, and we’re very much looking forward to continuing our collaboration with the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) on the report.

"Our urban planning and real estate economics practice out of London, and our other economics offices throughout the world will be unaffected."

Ben Martin, AECOM senior director, who originally joined the organisation in May 1995, has taken up a new role at London-based architects HKS.

Margreet Papamichael, who was director of economics at AECOM, has moved on to form a new company – Consulting for Leisure Entertainment Attractions and Resorts (CLEAR) Associates.

Papamichael says "CLEAR will offer the same services the economics division did, but with lower overhead cost and without geographical boundaries".

"In today’s age of rapid change it is important to be able to react quickly to clients' changing needs and requirements," said Papamichael, speaking to Attractions Management. "CLEAR Associates is able to do so and our services are dedicated to this industry. We are looking ahead to exciting times."

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