In a stroke of genius, Visit Buffalo Niagara (VBN) has announced that it is opening a visitor center at the airport. I'm sure that collectively there are a good number of us that are thinking, "Better late than never." That's not a slam against the VBN, it's just that this measure is long past due. "Four years ago, Visit Buffalo Niagara created a strategic plan that called for adding a Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center in the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Today, we are making that plan a reality," said Visit Buffalo Niagara President and CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen. "Five million passengers fly in and out of the airport each year. Capturing even a fraction of this audience will have an enormous impact on our tourism industry."
Thanks to an impressive donation of $100,000 from First Niagara Bank the project finally has some real legs. LP Ciminelli also stepped up by donating services towards the visitor center. Soon, Buffalo will have a way to direct visitors to restaurants, cultural destinations, shopping districts, etc. It's nice to know that curious travelers, who are unfamiliar with Buffalo, will no longer just pick the closest hotels and restaurants to the airport. Having an enthusiastic and knowledgable attendant on staff could do wonders for people who are interested in exploring, but don't want to succumb to trial and error. This could be an excellent way to divert some people to stay downtown at one of the newest hotels before heading off to The Falls for a sightseeing excursion.
Now, maybe it's time to relocate the downtown visitors' center, currently found in the Market Arcade, to the Peace Bridge. I can think of the perfect little chapel - the Hutchinson Chapel. Now that would be a real coup.