Brian Sands

HKS Advisory Services

Principal / SVP

An economist with global experience, Brian Sands is a strategic advisor and thought leader with expertise in the business of leisure/hospitality, mixed-use and sports/entertainment. He prioritizes teamwork, client goals and robust analyses and know-how to optimize projects to increase return and reduce risk. Clients include private developers/operators, not-for-profits and public agencies. Sands regularly advises on the development/operation of commercial and cultural attractions (theme parks, waterparks, zoos, aquariums, observation experiences, specialty attractions), lodging (hotels and resorts), retail-dining-entertainment (RDE) and associated uses. Assignments focus on providing economic advice enabling clients to reach their return on investment (ROI) goals while reducing risk. Assignments typically involve client and stakeholder coordination, scoping, field work, market and comparables research, demand potential forecast, financial feasibility estimation, economic and fiscal impact analysis, presentations and project management. Assignments frequently involve working closely with the client’s designers, planners, architects, engineers, cost estimators and other team members. He has global experience, with focus now mainly across North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. He was also the long-time coordinator of global production of the Theme Index and Museum Index – Global Attractions Attendance Report, the leading industry report produced annually by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and its partner, and was primarily responsible for the North American and Latin American commercial attraction figures. Sands serves on the board of the Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) and the TEA International Board, and also regularly speaks at major industry events (e.g., TEA Summit, International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo, World Waterpark Association Show), and frequently contributes to industry publications (Attractions Handbook, Attractions Management, InPark Magazine, Leisure Management) and public media outlets (e.g., CNN, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel).