NIAGARA FALLS —
The report acknowledges several free events that were both promoted and held on Old Falls Street during the 37 days between the day after Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. They included Santa's Workshop, ice sculpture, beer and wine garden, the tournament of song featuring area high school choirs and the Taste of the Season, a two-day event featuring food tastings and guest chefs sponsored by Wegmans.
It also notes several events that were originally considered for inclusion but were not held or promoted due to lack of financing and timing, including a winter wonderland, train show, winter sport expo and Polar Playhouse.
A total of four concerts were held, featuring the Canadian Tenors, Aaron Neville, Elisabeth Von Trap and the Buffalo Philharmonic. The report suggests there was no profit earned from the concerts, "nor were these events intended to draw a profit in the planning of the market." The report describes the concerts as not performing well and representing a "large expense of the overall market."
"The concerts were designed to bring awareness to the event, provide a unique holiday experience, generate foot traffic and elevate the stature of downtown Niagara Falls as a venue for world-class entertainment," the report reads.
No official attendance numbers were reported as there was no single point of entry or admission fee for the market. A total of 3,191 tickets were sold for the four concerts, according to the report. Another 1,845 appeared for the Taste of the Season. An autograph session featuring Buffalo Sabre great Gilbert Perrault attracted 720 visitors. Overall attendance was estimated at about 75,000 guests, including more than 20,000 during the opening weekend.
Rivers reported solid stakeholder feedback from area hotels and restaurants, including the Hard Rock Cafe, TGI Fridays, the Sheraton at the Falls, Red Coach Inn, Legends Bar and Grill, the Quality Inn, the Giacomo Hotel and Wine on Third.