Niagara Gazette — Niagara Falls will play an important role in of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” plan, serving as an anchor for the region's tourism industry.
Cuomo stressed the importance of viewing Western New York as a region, and using all the assets of the Falls, the city of Buffalo and the Southern Tier to compliment one another while addressing a crowd of a few hundred business and community leaders gathered at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
“We are a region,” Cuomo said. “We are in the same boat. We rise or we fall and we do it together.”
Cuomo was in Western New York on Tuesday for his tour of the region, the eighth such trip he has taken to get a first-hand look at the progress of the regional economic councils he set up shortly after taking office in 2010.
The councils allow regions of the state to come up with their own economic development plans instead of having a sweeping plan coming out of Albany meant to work for the entire state.
“If you want to invest in a regional economy you need a vision that works for that region,” Cuomo said.
Mayor Paul Dyster spoke to the crowd on the tourism aspect of Western New York’s regional council’s plan.
He said that the under that plan, Niagara Falls will use its many tourist attractions — particularly activities like biking, fishing and cultural heritage tourism — to attract more visitors, in part by getting the word out about the many things there are to do in Niagara Falls.
“We’re going to develop a marketing and promotional strategy that will deliver the maximum bang for the buck,” Dyster said.
Niagara Falls will also have to continue fixing the mistakes of the “failed urban renewal effort of the 1960s and 70s” that left few amenities in downtown Niagara Falls, Dyster said.