Niagara Gazette — • Urban Renewal: Completely tearing down Falls Street, a functioning, successful commercial retail corridor may not have been the best way to revitalize our now dysfunctional, highly unsuccessful commercial retail corridors.
• Convention Center: Demolishing and relocating an entire community to construct a brand new state-of-the-art convention center and then not being able to build enough hotel rooms to accommodate most conventions may not have been the best strategy to build the local economy by attracting conventions.
• Rainbow mall: Taking design cues from what appear to be Kremlin inspired architects and erecting a Berlin Wall-like edifice that effectively blocks millions of tourists access from what once was and should again become a vibrant functioning, successful commercial retail corridor is definitely not the best way to revitalize our dysfunctional, marginally successful commercial retail corridors.
• Seneca Casino: Carving out a huge chunk of the Central Business District and handing it over to a sovereign nation which can effectively run you directly into bankruptcy by effectively putting almost all of its surrounding entertainment and dining competition out of business and then getting into a dispute with your “best friend” may not be the most productive economic development plan that could have been negotiated.
• Splash Park, Aqua Falls, Falls Street Faire, Falls Street Station ... Need I say more?
Like LaBelle’s character, we were definitely “runnin’ hot, runnin’ cold,” running into extreme overload; one “good idea” gone bad after another; excitement followed by depression, time after time can’t be good for anything.
Our repeated failure to capitalize on our tourism advantages only serves to compound and exacerbate the hemorrhaging loss of population.
The consequential erosion of our fragile tax base, one result of the loss of most of the electro-chemical industry that once substantially fueled this economy for more than one-hundred years evaporated like mist into thin air, leaving entire neighborhoods, families and supporting businesses standing naked in the wake of the whoosh, that deadening silence that accompanies abandonment.