Niagara Gazette — Economic development is the number one topic on the minds of Niagara Falls residents. One vocal resident said to me at a local establishment, “We need more jobs in Niagara Falls!” Another complained, “My daughter had to move down south because she couldn’t find work after graduating from college.” Yet another resident wondered how Niagara Falls, being such a jewel, had gotten to this point? I have a comprehensive economic plan that will transform the fiscal conversations from negative to positive and churn out a comeback that will make all of us proud to live in Niagara Falls.
My major concern is the development of an effective strategy to lengthen the average stay of the eight million visitors who travel to Niagara Falls each year. We are a city dependent upon tourism and hospitality. As such, we need to conduct and appraise our tourism experiences for visitor readiness, appeal, safety and opportunities. We need to evaluate our visitor strategies to attract repeat visits and to optimize our tourism development, marketing and economic success.
In addition, we need to build on the momentum of the Niagara County Community College Culinary Institute to make the corridor between the state park and Seneca Niagara Casino a destination for food, beverage, and specialty shops. This can be accomplished by working with USA Niagara Development Corporation to identify local entrepreneurs who are interested in a “boutique” approach to retail development. Another aspect of my plan is to convince USA Niagara to support and promote the economic revitalization of the entire city, including the
businesses on Buffalo Avenue in LaSalle, Niagara Street, Niagara Falls Boulevard, Pine Avenue, Hyde Park Boulevard and others. The businesses on Buffalo Avenue from 56th Street to Cayuga Drive, for example, desperately need better roads and a way to take capitalize on their proximity to the Niagara River.