Niagara Gazette

March 4, 2007

TOURISM: July 7: Lucky day for Falls

Local officials hopping on hottest wedding date of the year

By Don Glynnglynnd@gnnewspaper.com

Niagara Falls has a unique chance to reclaim its crown as “The Honeymoon Capital of the World.”

Even if it’s only for a day or the weekend.

It all hinges on how many engaged couples decide they want to exchange their wedding vows on July 7 in the Cataract City.

That date — 7-7-7 — has already enticed thousands of couples across the U.S. who see it as a lucky omen. It is, as one observer noted, almost numerically perfect. By the way, it can’t happen again until 2077.

Local tourism officials also are eager to market and promote Niagara as the ideal site for honeymooners.

“This is the first I’ve heard about it but I definitely like the possibilities it offers,” said Kate Scaglione, director of marketing and communications for the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp.

A recent New York Times article reported that upwards of 30,000 couples had signed up with a Web site, www.theknot.com, stating their intentions to get married that day.

Scaglione noted records show that in its halcyon days, Niagara Falls was a mecca for honeymooners, with countless people booking trips here, especially during the prime tourist season. In earlier days, it was common for many of the starry-eyed couples to arrive by train from New York City and spend the weekend at one of 15 downtown hotels.

“Just recently our staff was brainstorming on how we might revive that business,” Scaglione added, conceding that a cursory glance at wedding notices in out-of-town newspapers proves that many couples are opting for more exotic destinations.

Allen James, events and marketing coordinator for the regional state parks commission, said he believes Niagara Falls also could benefit from the heavy demand for weddings on that date. He explained that the parks agency’s permit office would handle such requests, from couples who wanted to be wed at Prospect Point or Goat Island in the nation’s oldest state park.

That could mean hefty revenues for the hoteliers and attraction operators in early July, James said, noting the extra honeymoon business would come in the wake of the busiest holiday period, Independence day (July 4) and Canada Day (July 1).

Earlier this year, a spokesman for the Falls Wedding Chapel in the Quality Hotel & Suites, 240 Rainbow Boulevard, predicted that “Triple 7” would bring brisk business for that weekend.

Across the river, Niagara Fallsview Weddings, the chapel in the Minolta Tower overlooking the falls, is booked solid for July 7.

And brides still searching for a reception or hotel site can forget that date at the Queen’s Landing, the Pillar and the Post and the Prince of Wales at Niagara-on-the-Lake. They’re sold out.