Niagara Gazette — The Downtown Niagara Falls Development Challenge will address this need by creating a compelling plan to drive tourism growth and spur development of improved tourist amenities and more innovative programming and attractions. The competition is aimed at development that will entice tourists to stay longer and spend more while experiencing the natural, cultural, heritage, architectural and retail opportunities available throughout the region, in addition to the natural wonder of Niagara Falls.
A $40 million fund will support the cost of the competition and incentives for development. The fund will consist of $4 million per year from the City of Niagara Falls casino revenue funds matched by $4 million per year from the State’s Buffalo Billion investment for five years. Major private investment can be supported by the fund if it leverages public resources; creates significant downtown development, tourist amenities or destination attractions in the downtown area; and is consistent with the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council’s Buffalo Billion Investment Plan, the City’s Comprehensive Plan and USA Niagara Development Corporation (USA Niagara) design standards.
The competition selection committee will be a partnership between the state and city. The members of the committee will be announced at a later date. The committee will be supported by Empire State Development and its subsidiary, USA Niagara, to design the competition, develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) and ultimately negotiate final deals and contracts for each award.
In December, the committee will announce the release of the RFP to design and develop tourism-related amenities and destinations for the competition with responses due in January. The committee will select the best design-development bids and announce the winners shortly thereafter.Big Red Number $40M Fund that will support the cost of the competition and incentives for winner of competition