For years we’ve been talking about the best ways to promote Buffalo as a winter city destination. At some point in the future, I believe that Buffalo will be as popular in the winter as it is in the spring, summer and fall. Winter cities all over the world capitalize on the various characteristics that can only be showcased when it’s cold out – from skating on canals to building massive ice creations. Remember when we built the world’s largest ice maze during the first Powder Keg Festival?
Yes, we have the ability to show off when it comes to how we enjoy our winters. Once Canalside got rockin’ and rollin, a local company figured out a way to construct Ice Bikes (see here). Once again, Buffalo was on the map for its ability to embrace winter.
I recently learned that Edmonton hosted a Winter Cities Shake-Up Conference in 2015. The idea behind the conference was to demonstrate that winter cities have just as much to tout as warmer climate cities. In fact, winter cities should have a ‘one up’ on non-winter cities because of the diversity of the climate and the offerings that cold and snow provide. 52 different cities were represented at the conference in Edmonton, and I’m pretty sure that Buffalo was not one of them. In fact, Edmonton is about to host a second conference this coming weekend, and I bet that Buffalo will not represent.
Actually, it’s too bad that the Winter City Shake-Up Conference does not travel from city to city, as Buffalo would be a great host. That not being the case, who from City Hall, ECHDC or Visit Buffalo Niagara will be attending this ingenious event?
If a City delegate from Buffalo was to attend this conference, he or she would come away with a plethora of ideas that are not currently being playing out. There is so much untapped potential here. Yes, we have begun to embrace this fourth season, which for so long was a thorn in our side for some reason. We must learn from other winter cities – what their citizenry finds most fun about their winters. We have an entire Inner and Outer Harbor at our fingertips, bot of which are perfect for capitalizing upon the benefits of the cold and snow. The only problem is, we have been running away from winter for so long, that there is no one here that truly understands the full potential. That’s why attending a conference of this nature is such a no brainer.
While it’s all well and good that Buffalo is hosting the 51st NEC/AAAE International Aviation Snow Symposium (April 22-26, 2017), we should be wrapping our heads around a completely different way to attract people to Buffalo in the wintertime.