Request for Proposal: Interpretive Master Plan – Colorado Railroad Museum

The Colorado Railroad Museum, a 501(c)3 nonprofit seeks proposals for a Master
Interpretation Plan. Consultant will work with museum to develop an Interpretive Master
Plan that will define the Museum’s main themes and stories and articulate a
comprehensive strategy for visitor experiences at the Colorado Railroad Museum.

Mission Statement:
The mission of the Colorado Railroad Museum is to preserve and convey the rich
history of railroading in the Rocky Mountain region through acquisition, research,
exhibition, and education.

Robert W. Richardson and Cornelius W. Hauck opened the Colorado Railroad Museum
in 1959 with Richardson’s collection of rolling stock, railway records, and other pieces of
equipment. Over the years the museum has built a depot, roundhouse, and library to
support these collections. A 1/3 mile track loop was completed in 1999 and turntable
installed in 2000. Today the museum proudly serves researchers, restores railcars, and
provides a wide variety of programming to its nearly 100,000 visitors annually.

Project Overview

Scope of Work and Deliverables
Task 1: Conduct a project meeting with Museum staff to:
• Review scope of work and confirm project deliverables
• Set communication contacts and procedures
• Develop schedule for stakeholder involvement, project submittals, and invoice

Task 2: Visit the Colorado Railroad Museum and other key locations with Museum staff
to familiarize consultant and team with existing facilities and infrastructure, local
resources and area history/character.

Task 3: Expert Focus Groups: Engage Colorado Railroad Museum stakeholders to take
part in the development of the Plan. Host two stakeholder meetings to solicit input and
to develop a richer understanding of the current functions, uses, activities, assets and
users of Colorado Railroad Museum. This includes but is not limited to Museum Staff,
rail modeler groups, local police, neighbors, education leaders, local government
officials, existing community groups, and Museum invested volunteers. Museum staff
will work with the contractor to identify these participants. These sessions are not to
identify “what the Museum should be,” but instead to identify themes and storylines
which will help visitors to understand the Rocky Mountain region’s railroad history,
educate all parties on the Museum’s preservation mission, address the challenges to
fulfilling that mission, and to arrive at the best way to maximize the Museum’s potential
for all users without compromising that mission.

Task 4: Develop strategy to maximize the visitor experience at Colorado Railroad
• Create a draft conceptual diagram depicting the Museum site and showing the
interrelationships among the physical and programmatic infrastructure proposed
through the planning process (Experience Map)
• Conduct a Planning Team charrette for scoping and mapping input.
• Produce a final Experience Map.

Task 5: Develop recommendations for interpretation at Colorado Railroad Museum that
includes themes and storylines enhancing visitor experience and promoting the general
public’s understanding of railroad history.
• Assess existing and proposed Museum programming
• Assess current site layout and recommend possible changes to maximize visitor
use, minimize potential conflict between different user types while supporting
overall interpretive story and mission. Include review of
o Ingress, Egress and Parking Recommendations: Assessment of traffic and
usage patterns to identify number of parking spaces needed and best
placement of parking lots, signage, driveways, trails and other gateway
features. Include detailed construction plans for an ADA accessible
parking area and trail connections to parking area, including cross
o Interpretive Signage Plan: Recommend sign purposes, types, and
locations to orient visitors to site, communicate Colorado Railroad history,
biological areas, environmental and habitat education, and user rules and
• Provide recommendations for complementary interpretive programs and
materials at the Museum.

Task 6: Finalize Interpretive Master Plan and deliver products to include:
• Create comprehensive checklist of all tasks associated with each major plan
recommendation that can be followed over time to progressively implement the
Plan by ALT staff, interns, and volunteers and used to guide work. !
• Executive Presentation: A presentation of the plan findings and recommendations
will be made by consultant to CRRM leadership. Consultant should be expected
to lead Q&A and group discussion as part of the session. !
• Physical Deliverables: Three printed, bound hard copies of the complete Plan
(working in-office copy, copy for Historic Fund report and display copy), and an
electronic file containing the report in a PDF format and including all associated
photography, charts, graphs, maps, etc. Both hard and electronic copies should
include executive summary.

Budget: The total budget available for this project is $25,000-$35,000. Proposals that
exceed this budget range may not be considered, except as part of a comprehensive
proposal as outlined below.

Qualified bidders must have at least five years of experience developing interpretive
master plans that include interpretive experience objectives, programs, exhibits, tours,
signage and materials of a similar nature to that proposed for this project. Experience
with railroad museums and Colorado history is considered a plus but not required. A
summary of capabilities and experience must accompany the proposal, along with a list
of references related to such experience and a summary of qualifications for key staff
for the project.

Submission of Final Product
1. Submit to Museum staff all elements and activities for feedback and approval
throughout the development process, making modifications as appropriate.
2. Final products shall be developed using MS Office programs (Word, PowerPoint,
Publisher) and provided in digital and print formats that allow editing and
publishing as needed.
3. Final products shall be the property of CRRM.

Please submit proposals electronically to:
Proposals are due no later than 5:00 pm, Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
Questions: Contact Elizabeth Nosek, Curator, 720-274-5147

Online Resources

The contract will be a firm fixed price.
NOTE: Project is contingent on sufficient funds in the Project Budget.

Submitting Proposals
Proposals should address:
1. Interpretive Master Plan Process, Content, and Products.
2. Project Management Team Experience, Qualifications and References.
3. Price for Completion of Scope of Work and Products.
For Interpretive Master Plan experience, consultant teams may send hard copy or
electronic samples of work, and/or provide access/addresses to websites.