Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 1, 2013

TOP 10: The unforgettable journey of Nik Wallenda (No. 1)

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

No matter what Wallenda decides, it’s clear that the media frenzy surrounding the June 15 event got a priceless amount of international coverage. There were 600 media badges distributed, with coverage from places as diverse as Germany, Japan and China, according to Angela Berti, a spokesperson for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The parks department has been conducting its own research about the event, as part of a survey of those who bought park passes in 2012, and while data is still being collected, Berti said that Niagara Falls State Park attendance had increased slightly this year above the annual average of 8 million.

“Our numbers were up this year although we can’t attribute that directly to Wallenda’s walk. But, we know the walk put the falls on the map,” Berti said, referencing the television production. “That was the biggest travelogue you could have ever seen.

“Anecdotally, when I walked the park and talked to visitors, several said they planned a trip after watching the Wallenda walk.”

John Percy, president of the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. said that the Wallenda walk was one of several factors that contributed to an estimated 7 percent increase in tourism in the city this past summer, along with the great weather and targeted marketing efforts.

He added that the positive response from Wallenda’s walk would only continue if there was another similar event or project to come. “Consumers are easily stimulated by messages everyday,” Percy said. “We have to keep Niagara Falls in peoples’ minds.”

But, the aerialst’s walk this June across the Grand Canyon, will continue to remind people of Wallenda’s walk across the falls, and is being billed as “Wallenda, Beyond Niagara,” Maziarz said, adding that the aerialist continues to promote the region. 

“He was interviewed the other day in Las Vegas and all they talked about was Niagara Falls,” Maziarz said. “He’s the best ambassador we’ve got out there.”

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