Niagara Gazette — It's a competition which should leave downtown Niagara Falls the ultimate winner.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Thursday that the state and the City of Niagara Falls will partner to launch the Downtown Niagara Falls Development Challenge, a major competition to select a team of world-class designers, developers and operators to envision and develop signature projects in the downtown area that will attract significant private sector investment and accelerate the revitalization of Niagara Falls.
The goal of the competition is to transform downtown Niagara Falls into the ultimate tourist destination to attract and retain visitors from around the world, by building and enhancing the amenities and attractions available in the area.
“With the launch of this competition, we are challenging talented designers and developers to dream up and propose grand ideas to transform the downtown Niagara Falls area into a premier destination that will attract tourists and fuel private investment,” Cuomo said. “This competition is a real opportunity for champions in the development and investment industries to face off right here in the Falls with the best ideas to be turned into reality. We are looking for creative and innovative projects that will spur private development and at the end of day, entice visitors to the area so that they will stay longer and spend more in the community.”
Mayor Paul Dyster added, “This is an innovative competition to generate progress in Niagara Falls. The governor’s contest will match concept against concept with the best projects winning. Recently we have seen a genuine interest in investing in downtown Niagara Falls. This transformative commitment of $40 million will jumpstart the additional private development needed to create an exciting family friendly Niagara Falls experience.”
Currently, Niagara Falls attracts eight million visitors annually — more than most U.S. national parks and nearly double the draw of the Grand Canyon — but overnight stays and visitor spending is less in the region. This loss in revenue can be traced to the limited number and quality of amenities in the Niagara Falls area which hamper the region’s ability to fully capitalize on the millions of visits to the region.