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
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
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