Niagara Gazette

Local News

August 3, 2009

NIAGARA FALLS: Tourism talk turns heated

Percy addresses accountability, funding issues

A planned 30-minute update from the head of the Niagara Tourism Convention Corp. warped into a nearly two-hour assault on the agency’s operation and promotion efforts Monday evening.

NTCC President John Percy deflected criticism and fielded a variety of questions from frustrated members of the city’s Tourism Advisory Board and several others attending the meeting. At the end, he reiterated his willingness to work together to enhance tourism efforts but stressed the importance of keeping the agency’s funding levels stable.

“I am all for fixing roads and cleaning up the city but it can’t be at the expense of marketing,” Percy said.

The 6-year-old agency has hired Joseph A. Lathrop, president of Organizational Development & Strategic Planning, to help create a new strategic marketing plan. Lathrop joined Percy at Monday’s meeting to collect feedback on specific questions he posed to the advisory board in an earlier memo.

“My intention here tonight is to listen,” Lathrop told the board. “Everybody’s input is valuable.”

But instead of answers, Lathrop, Percy and NTCC Board of Trustees President Tricia Mezhir were met with more questions and a challenge to become more accountable to a city that’s providing the bulk of the agency’s annul operating budget.

“Niagara Falls puts all the chips in and everyone else is holding their hands back,” Tourism Board Chairman Jerry Genova said. “We’re taking every penny we have and investing it in your strategy. That’s why your agency is facing this type of scrutiny from us.”

Percy started Monday’s presentation by saying occupancy rates at city hotels this summer are down 3.7 percent compared to last year but that’s better than the national average, which is down 9.6 percent. The average daily hotel room rate is down 2.4 percent but the national average is also down 9.6 percent, he added.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results