Statue of Liberty National Monument

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ORCA was contracted to spearhead the effort to reopen the Statue of Liberty Monument after almost three year of being closed to visitors for security reasons. Major challenges included the need to develop a new and meaningful visitor experience and train newly hired guides to effectively present this experience, the goal to substantially reduce the prior long waiting lines (in excess of 3 hours) for Monument access, and integrating new security measures - all within a short time frame and high-visibility environment.

In December of 2003, the Superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument was directed to reopen the interior of the Monument (which had been closed since 9/11/01) to visitors by August 1, 2004. Within this 8-month timeframe, the team assembled by the National Park Service and managed by ORCA Consulting developed and implemented:

  • a new visitor experience to replace the previous climb to the Statue's crown;
  • a reservation and timed ticket system for the Monument tour integrated with the ferry ticket system;
  • new tour routes;
  • a new security screening system and bag check facility at the Monument;
  • a new signage package; and
  • operating procedures and training for the new guide service staff.


In addition to planning and managing the development of new tour experience, ORCA took a hands-on role in the opening by conducting pre-opening test and adjust events to shake down operations, verify operating capacities, verify operating procedures (including evacuation procedures and the sustainability of operations), build operating efficiencies, and provide "hands on" training for employees. The Monument reopening, which was covered extensively by the media, was conducted on schedule on August 1, 2004. The new Monument tour has operated smoothly from Day 1 and continues to function effectively as initially designed.

Since the Monument reopening, ORCA Consulting has been called back regularly to support planning issues at Liberty Island and Ellis Island, including evaluation of several relocation alternatives for the Battery Park ferry dock and security screening. ORCA also supported development of a new General Management Plan for the islands with capacity calculations and the analysis of the impact of alternative enhancement plans. In addition, ORCA was contracted to collect and analyze visitation data for both Liberty and Ellis Islands. ORCA conducted extensive visitor surveys at both locations at different times of year to determine seasonality trends in visitor demographics, trip planning characteristics of different visitor groups, and to gauge visitor satisfaction with the redesigned tour experience and other aspects of their visits.

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