Niagara Gazette — “We know we need more,” he said. “We need more, especially for people with families, to do in the downtown area.”
Now that many hotel rooms are scheduled to open in the coming years it is time to move on to the next piece of the tourism puzzle by developing more entertainment opportunities for visitors, he added.
“There are lots and lots and lots of ideas for ways we might meet that demand for recreation,” Dyster said.
The committee is scheduled to send out a request for proposals in December and begin reviewing submissions in January.
Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, said he has been attending press conferences discussing the need for attractions in Niagara Falls for many years.
“We’ve had a lot of press conferences like this, and I certainly have been a part of many of them, about a new program or something else,” Maziarz said. “This one really has to work.”
Maziarz said he has seen too many plans go unused over the years and vowed to make sure that the money from the competition would be used for development, not planning.
“My laser-like focus is going to be on bricks and mortar, on getting this money to developers to assist them in building projects,” he said.
Nirel Patel, who is in the process of turning the vacant Moore Business Forms building on Buffalo Avenue into a Courtyard by Marriott with his father B.F. Patel, said the plan will help developers create attractions that will appeal to a wide range of demographics.
There is little to do on the American side of the gorge for younger people in particular, he added.
“We have nothing for them to do in the downtown corridor,” Patel said.
Patel’s family also owns the Econolodge downtown and they are in the process renovating the Niagara Club with plans for event venues, restaurants and a possibility for retail space.