Niagara Gazette


January 12, 2014

Niagara Falls shines in national spotlight

Niagara Gazette — Who would have thought?

It’s been an absolute whirlwind for Niagara Falls this past week, with ups, downs and a bit of viral marketing sprinkled in. Pictures getting worldwide attention, inclusions in top-lists to visit and some nasty, cold air keeping folks indoors all cozy and (trying to stay) warm have all sparked some renewed interest in the mighty cataract.

It all started Tuesday, when the area’s first blizzard in 20 years brought sub-zero temperatures to the region and the scenic photographs to social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. Photos of the ice-covered falls and Niagara Falls State Park — including shots taken by the Gazette’s James Neiss — have been all the rage on social media outlets and received attention from several national and international print and television outlets, including The Today Show, the Washington Post and the New York Daily News this week.

It’s the type and level of attention the community couldn’t buy on its own, according to John Percy, the head of the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp., who said it’s nice to see Niagara Falls get some recognition for its winter-time beauty for a change.

“It’s more coverage than we get sometimes in the summer time,” Percy said. “We really are trying to market Niagara as a year-round destination so we’ll take the coverage.”

Percy said the added media attention supports ongoing efforts to boost tourism numbers during the traditionally slower periods of the year, specifically the winter months.

One of the more interesting sets of photographs from this week appeared to show Niagara Falls frozen in place, a feat many in the area recognize as impossible. Indeed, the photographs were identified as a hoax, though the attention they gathered themselves caught the attention of the city’s mayor.

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