Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 16, 2013

A year after walk, Falls officials balance expectations, realities of Wallenda's walk

A year later, city leaders look forward to even more publicity during daredevil's Grand Canyon crossing

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — A little further outside the state park, a spokesperson for Niagara Street said he has noticed an increase in traffic. “I see more tourists coming down Niagara Street, asking for information,” said Ron Anderluh of the Niagara Street Business Association. “I don’t know if related to Wallenda’s walk,” he added. “We’ve dressed up the street, too, with the flags, and the road was done last year between Portage Road and John Daly Boulevard, so that helps too.”

Frank Strangio, president of the Niagara Falls Hotel and Motel Association, and chairman of the NTCC, noted that images of the Falls walk spiced up perceptions of the city. “I’m not sure people are saying I’m going to Niagara Falls because Wallenda walked it,” he said. “But, that TV coverage was incredible. The images were great. They added a little heat to the destination of Niagara Falls. It made us cool,” Strangio said.

Clearly, the consensus is that the three-hour ABC prime time coverage of Wallenda’s Niagara Falls crossing was invaluable to the city.

“It’s priceless to be able to get people to see any sort of video of a great tourist destination like Niagara Falls,” said Jim Wise, vice president of marketing for the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel, where Wallenda practiced in front of crowds in the days leading up to his historic feat. “Tourism agencies of every major city are trying to come up with ideas and failing, and meanwhile, Niagara Falls has a couple of hours of great television with superior ratings.”

The city will get another go round on June 23 when the topic of Wallenda’s Niagara Falls walk will come up during the Discovery Channel’s live programming.

Sen. George Maziarz and his wife, Beverly, will be among the two hundred or so invited guests who will be watching the taping of the Grand Canyon wire walk, which will take place on the sprawling Navajo Indian Reservation, 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River, just east of the national park.

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