The NTCC is funded primarily through hotel occupancy taxes and slot machine revenue paid by the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel to the state.
Percy added that advertising for the state’s 2006-07 winter guide had to be purchased in early 2006 — before the agency received slots revenue that had been held up for more than a year. The agency’s marketing budget was confined in 2005 and early 2006 after the distribution of local casino revenue was delayed.
Members of the city’s Tourism Advisory Board said Monday they were disappointed to see the limited exposure Niagara Falls received in either the articles included in the winter guide or the magazine’s advertisements.
“The falls doesn’t stop,” said Vince Mameli, an advisory board member. “It goes in the summer and the winter.”
While the Niagara Falls State Park is open during the entire year, Percy said, local attractions are limited during winter months.
“It’s still beautiful around Niagara Falls. It’s just our product is limited in scope. There is no Cave of the Winds. There is no Maid of the Mist. There is no Whirlpool Jet Ski,” Percy said.
Percy said the agency will begin to look at its winter marketing efforts as the region begins to boost its winter products. He envisions creating packages for Canadian tourists during the winter months who want to shop in local malls and stay at local hotels.
The guide focuses primarily on winter outdoor activities and the Adirondacks, but also includes write-ups about indoor attractions, including the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo, which completed its first phase of reconstruction in October, and a new butterfly garden in Rochester.
A.J. Carter, a spokesman for Empire State Development Corp., said the state’s “I Love New York” program rotates what New York State attractions are included in the editorial content of the campaign’s brochures.