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Christine A. Lai
Assistant Professor
laica@buffalostate.edu
Business Department
Buffalo State College
A Lake Runs Through It . . . Or Is It a River? Or Something Else? 

In the late 1990s, the town of Tempe, Arizona, proposed developing the dry riverbed of the Salt River into a lake that would become a recreational and economic focal point for the city as well as a potential tourist destination. The project presented a number of challenges and issues. In this case study, students learn about, and then use, a marketing strategy analysis framework known as SWOT to analyze the project in terms of market opportunities and threats and organizational strengths and weaknesses. The case was developed for use in a course in economic geography, but could be adapted to courses in environmental science and urban planning/geography, for example.