Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

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During their peak season, Monticello was seeing unacceptable wait times and crowding levels and called on ORCA, who had recently provided capacity and operations planning input for the Monticello master plan, to help resolve the issues. ORCA responded with a plan to effectively spread visitation to non-peak days and times of day through the use of a reservations and timed ticketing system. With ORCA's assistance, Monticello implemented this system and has since handled comparable attendance with minimal peak crowding.

ORCA has completed several consulting engagements to help the Thomas Jefferson Foundation enhance the operations and visitor experience at Monticello, the home Thomas Jefferson designed and built for himself in Charlottesville, Virginia.

For the Monticello master plan, ORCA assessed visitor-related issues, including on-site circulation volumes and patterns, attendance capacity, and operational planning. These assessments included the validation of expanded public space for the planned new visitor center and parking capacity requirements to accommodate peak visitation levels. ORCA worked with Monticello operations management and key decision-makers to review and improve existing operations and develop new cost-effective operational approaches (including staffing, procedures and facilities) which would maximize both ease of operation and the visitor experience. ORCA also participated in several workshops with the master planning team to ensure that the visitor-related issues were effectively addressed as part of the master planning process.

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To reduce wait times and crowding levels of Monticello tours, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation implemented a system for advanced sales and timed ticketing in 2005. ORCA developed the operational and functional requirements for this system including: new processes, sales system changes, modifications to tour schedules and operating hours, performance measures, improved data collection, management reporting procedures, and detailed operating, implementation, and test plans. ORCA's work included an in-depth analysis of historical visitor arrival and tour utilization data to determine how Monticello could support a higher visitation through effecting a shift in visitation from peak to non-peak days and hours.

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation also asked ORCA to develop on-site ticketing capacity and operational requirements for the new visitor center opening in 2009. ORCA developed a conceptual layout for the ticketing lobby to meet projected peak arrival volumes without compromising Monticello's service standards, and worked with the project architect to refine lobby layout details and space requirements. ORCA also developed ticketing operating procedures to manage low, medium and peak attendance scenarios while maintaining excellent customer service.

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