Niagara Gazette


September 2, 2007

TOURISM: As the season draws to close, Niagara Falls officials are left wondering what needs fixing

NIAGARA FALLS — Niagara Falls City Administrator Bill Bradberry can talk for hours about Niagara Falls’ downtown areas and how they can become more attractive to tourists.

But he’d rather take a drive and show you personally.

“This is a trip I take several times a day,” Bradberry said during a recent tour of the city. “I think I’m becoming a little obsessed.”

As the tourism season winds down with the Labor Day weekend, Bradberry believes the city did a better job attracting visitors and extending their stay — but there’s a lot to improve upon for next year.

“We’re still in the infancy stages of changing from a heavy industry city to a tourism city,” Bradberry said. “But we need to start acting like a major tourist destination.”

Third Street

Bradberry’s daily tour of the downtown area usually starts along Third Street.

Two years removed from the state’s $3.7 million streetscape project, the area continues to struggle with its identity. The stretch between Main to Niagara Street is blossoming into a solid entertainment district, especially for nightlife enthusiasts.

The bad news, Bradberry points out, is there’s not enough resources to keep the area clean after those “wild Saturday nights.”

“We’ve made some mistakes, like not figuring out who’s going to maintain what we have here,” Bradberry said while driving past hotspots such as Cafe Etc., the Wine on Third bar and The Shadow Martini Bar. “The amount of trash that is left on the street Sunday morning is unacceptable. Picking up the trash is all part of a bigger puzzle. We need to maximize the visual impact we have on visitors and provide a clean, healthy and safe environment.”

Continuing south on Third, he makes a brief stop in front of the Conference Center Niagara Falls and points to the Castellani Art Museum at the Falls located inside. He uses it as an example of how even small changes can have a big impact.

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