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Decision Analysis

The Lake Placid Town Council has decided to build a new community center to be used for conventions, concerts, and other public events, but considerable controversy surrounds the appropriate size. Many influential citizens want a large center that would be a showcase for the area, but the mayor feels that if demand does not support such a center, the community will lose a large amount of money. To provide structure for the decision process, the council narrowed the building alternatives to three sizes: small, medium, and large. Everybody agreed that the critical factor in choosing the best size is the number of people who will want to use the new facility. A Regional planning consultant provided demand estimate under three scenarios: worst case, base case, and best case. The worst-case scenario corresponds to a situation in which tourism drops significantly; the base-case scenario corresponds to a situation in which Lake Placid continues to attract visitors a current levels; and the best-case scenario corresponds to a significant increase in tourism. The consultant has provided probability assessments of .10, 60, and .30 for the worst-case, base-case, and best-case scenarios, respectively.

The town council suggested using net cash flow over a five-year planning horizon as the criterion for deciding on the best size. A Consultant developed the following projections of net cash flow (in thousands of dollars) for a five-year planning horizon. All costs, including the consultant's fee, are included.

Demand Scenario
Center Size Worst Case Base Case Best Case
Small 400 500 660
Medium -250 650 800
Large -400 580 990

a. What decision should Lake Placid make using the expected value approach?
b. Compute the expected value of perfect information. Do you think it would be worth trying to obtain additional information concerning which scenario is likely to occur?
c. Suppose the probability of the worst-case scenario increases to.2, the probability of the base case scenario decreases to.5, and the probability of the best-case scenario remains at.3. What effect, if any, would these changes have on the decision recommendation?
d. The consultant suggested that an expenditure of $150,000 on a promotional campaign over the planning horizon would effectively reduce the probability of the worst-case scenario to zero. If the campaign can be expected to also increase the probability of the best-case scenario to .4, is it a good investment?

You must complete EV calculations for parts A, C, and D (Small, Medium, and Large); and EVwPI and EVPI calculations for part B.


Solution Summary

The solution is comprised of detailed calculations involving the various aspects of Decision Analysis in EXCEL and provides students with a clear perspective of Expected Value Approach, Expected Value Without Perfect Information, Expected Value of Perfect Information etc.