Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 16, 2014

HIGGS: Out and about in Niagara County

Niagara Gazette — It’s 8 a.m. and I am in the Aquarium of Niagara parking lot waiting for fellow passengers taking a local “FAM” tour with the staff of the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation. Lucky me!

I have been invited to join some folks from the hospitality and tourism business in Niagara Falls for an opportunity to play “tourist” and visit some of our local attractions. The purpose of the tour is to acquaint those working or volunteering in the business to acquaint them to “What else is out there” for visitors to our area with the intention to extend their stay in the Niagara area.

Our first stop was the aquarium where we met with John Percy the president and CEO of NTCC, who introduced us to the staff members who would be going with us and urged us to “have fun” while getting a firsthand look at what Niagara County has to offer visitors.

While waiting for the bus, I paid a visit to the sea horses, lion fish and African cichlids on the second floor. I also met some “picky eaters” who are actually butterfly fish who pick from nooks and crannies of their habitat. I met “snorkel nose,” a soft shelled turtle and of course the California sea lions were swimming in circles in anticipation of another great day or perhaps breakfast at this local attraction and research center. I met a couple of nice ladies who told me they are volunteer “Niagara USA Greeters who volunteer in the Niagara Falls State Park, the Niagara Falls airport and for various conventions in town in addition to volunteering at other places in the county on their own time. Both find it a very satisfying way to spend some down time from their regular retirement routine. They were interested to see what they could tell visitors about so they signed on to the tour.

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