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Clinton Center Impact Analysis

The William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park opened in November 2004 in downtown Little Rock. When considering more than 30 sites for the center, President Clinton and his team wanted to ensure that the center would bring both social and economic benefit to the location.

Central Arkansas leaders expected the Center to revitalize the downtown area, with significant impact on the City of Little Rock’s economic development, resulting from:  

  • Construction investment of $165 million.
  • Redevelopment of on an abandoned rail-switching yard in Little Rock’s warehouse district to spark reinvestment in the area.
  • The Clinton Center and Park including the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, an archive and research center; the Clinton School of Public Service, a renovated train station that houses the Clinton School; and a pedestrian bridge crossing the Arkansas River.

While both the economic and societal impacts from the Clinton Center can be seen throughout the Little Rock metropolitan area, an actual impact analysis of the Clinton Center had never been done before. 

In preparation for the 10th Anniversary of the opening of the Clinton Presidential Center and Park, a thorough economic and societal impact evaluation and analysis was commissioned by the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and completed by Boyette, using the following in-depth process:

  • Information-gathering interviews with economic development, tourism, and educational organizations.
  • An exhaustive analysis of data from public and proprietary sources.
  • Economic impact assessment using an input-output model through IMPLAN.
  • Secondary research related to societal enhancements, including almost 300 data and information sources.

Boyette’s findings demonstrated how the Center has accelerated redevelopment in the downtown area, increased tourism, and enhanced the state’s perception nationally and globally. The analysis identified the following results associated with the Clinton Center’s location in Little Rock:

  • $2.46 billion in downtown investment.
  • A total economic impact of $3.3 billion.
  • $691 million in travel expenditures of Clinton Center visitors.
  • 3.3 million visitors to the Clinton Center.
  • 469,000 volunteer hours at the Clinton Center.
  • $62 million invested in the Arkansas River Trail System.

The above information is simply a list of key findings. Additional results can be found here.

Boyette’s impact analysis is currently being explored as part of the development of the Obama Library in Chicago. It has also received widespread media attention from The New York Times, Chicago magazine, NBC Chicago, and Arkansas Online, as well as many other national and local publications.