Niagara Gazette

Opinion

September 29, 2012

GLYNN: Leaf peepers deserve better than Niagara offers

Niagara Gazette — Ask people in the tourist business and you'll find they often depend heavily on colorful foliage to boost their fall revenues.

Based on the weekly updates from the I Love New York program, part of the Empire State Development office, the Niagara area may not benefit that much from Mother Nature's off-season road show. 

In the initial report, Niagara was brushed off as having reached only 10 percent of its projected color change. Other areas were already in the 30 to 40 percent change as a result of cooler temperatures and advancing calendar.

Instead of visiting the Buffalo-Niagara region, tourists were being lured to the Adirondacks (Gov. Cuomo's favorite spot) or the Catskills to marvel at the peak foliage.

Again this past week, the foliage follow-up provided by a Lewiston spotter described the area scene (e.g. along the Niagara River and gorge) as still in the beginning stages with "duller than average leaves of green, yellow and some red." It's hardly the kind of outdoor display to attract those leaf peepers who generate millions of dollars every fall. 

For the record, in addition to the Adirondacks, some of the best leaf-peeping areas across the Empire State and the status of their colors: Tupper Lake in Franklin County, 90-95 percent; Old Forge in Herkimer County, 95 to 100 percent; and Lake Placid in Essex County, already at peak conditions. 

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A COVETED LIST: The War of 1812 Encampment (The Capture of Fort Niagara) has been designated by the American Bus Association as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2013. The ABA designation is a highly sought-after list by travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public.

Deborah Duerr, sales director for the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp., had key role in securing the nomination. The Encampment was selected by hundreds of other entries.

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