This article describes a pragmatic approach to assessing the economic impact of major urban recreation development. It is based on an assessment of the impact of the Lowell National Historical Park (LNHP) on the metropolitan area of Lowell, Massachusetts. This study was conducted by the authors in response to the National Park Services' (NPS) need to anticipate impacts resulting from the creation of a new National Park in Lowell. More specifically, the NPS requested an analysis of the likely impact that the LNHP would have on economic development, employment, land use patterns, and local citizens. The assessment was prepared under two constraints: (1) no primary data was available relating specifically to the LNHP, and (2) the study duration was six weeks. The following summarizes the process used to develop the study and the important findings.