Niagara Gazette

May 23, 2013

EDITORIAL: Give our visitors something to write home about

--
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Company is coming and we’re not ready.

But we can take comfort in the fact that hardly anyone is ever ready.

The roads into this city are going to be bumpier this year — due to the lack of capital to repair them. But, for the millions of tourists who plan to make our city their vacation destination this summer, that’s rather like not having time to resurface the driveway before the in-laws come.

Yes, there’s lots of construction that’s not going to be finished in time.  But, again, visitors always understand that. Wouldn’t you if you saw cranes and crews in a city you were visiting? 

There’s still going to be a lot of wonderful things for our guests to see and do.

Old Falls Street will be bustling with activity every day, all summer long, offering vendors, music and thing to do. At the new Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, there will be several new food options, including the new restaurant, Savor, spilling out onto the sidewalk for al fresco dining. That will give them something to write home about.

There’s just one thing we’d like to mention. There are about seven to 12 million people expected. Let’s welcome them.Let’s make them feel like we are glad we’re here.

We know, sometimes it’s easy to forget to be patient when a tourist from Omaha is driving three miles an hour in front of you, clearly lost. Instead of a honk and rude gesture, perhaps we can all try to remember what it’s like driving around in a strange city, uncertain as to where to turn.

And, for goodness sake, let’s all please try not to be mean spirited when they need help.

Last summer, one of us witnessed a convenience store clerk berating a group of three travelers that didn’t speak English, because they didn’t understand proof of age was required to buy beer. The trio looked like they could have been teachers but the clerk was very suspicious and angry that they didn’t understand what she needed. 

You can imagine what they wrote home about. Or emailed about. Or twittered about.

If you run a business in Niagara Falls, it would help us all if you reminded your people that we all benefit when our visitors have a nice time in our city.

We all benefit when they talk nice about our city, we all benefit when they come back a second time or a third.

People come to Niagara Falls for the most special times of their lives, often to get married or celebrate an anniversary or simply to kick back and enjoy our amazing waterfalls and beautiful park woodlands.

The rest of the city may not be completely dusted and perfectly in order. But, they are coming, anyway, and it would do well for us all to help make sure they have a good time while they’re here.