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Niagara Falls USA

Niagara Falls (the US side) is looking to get some of its mojo back. Destination Niagara USA, formerly the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation has been working on an identity plan that would help to showcase Niagara Falls and Niagara County in a new brand awareness campaign. The identity launch includes a new logo, tagline, destination name, along with an advertising and marketing campaign, an updated Destination USA Travel Guide with a new augmented reality feature, and a new website featuring a digital trip-planner tool.

The plan behind this new marketing initiative is to evoke a sense of thrill and excitement that comes hand in hand with the Niagara Falls experience. Aside from The Falls there are also ways for travelers to “re-connect with nature through authentic experiences unique to the region.”

A tagline identifying Niagara County as a travel destination “where adventure comes naturally”.

“For those who would rather come and do rather than just see, Niagara Falls is the embodiment of America’s adventurous spirit,” says John Percy, president and CEO, Destination Niagara USA. “The new brand reflects everything that makes our region an iconic national and international destination – there’s something to do here for everyone.”

Visitors can now plan their more comprehensive travel experience by using:

  • Destination Niagara USA travel guide which includes a new augmented reality feature
  • The new trip planner tool located on

There is a big push to highlight shopping and cultural destinations, including historical attractions, arts, dining, agriculture, and outdoor activities. 

After much research was conducted, interviewing countless travelers, it was found that people were coming to The Falls USA for myriad secondary reasons, including exploration, relationship enhancement and self-discovery. The majestic nature of The Falls and their surroundings were, of course, the main reason for people to pay a visit. 

Niagara County’s $608 million-a-year tourism industry supports nearly 20 percent of the total workforce, making it the area’s second largest employer.

Increased tourism means economic growth for our local business,Percy said. We believe we are going to achieve that growth by increasing awareness, being consistent in our messaging and developing a powerful, distinctive and authentic brand.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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  • It’s just lipstick on a pig. It’s just polishing a turd. A rose by any other name… you get the drift.
    Call it what you want, it isn’t progress. Unless we get some private developers to start building, downtown Niagara Falls will forever be a dump because we can’t count on the indians and we can’t count on the local government to make miracles (except in the case of approvals from developers. See: Canadian side for the correct way to approve projects).

    • There have literally been four hotels built in the last two years. Wingate by Wyndham, Double Tree by Hilton, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott and a Hampton Inn. Along with doubling the size (literally) of the Holiday Inn and adding new restaurants during the remodel. That’s all in two blocks between Rainbow Blvd and Buffalo Ave. The Hyatt Place Hotel is also well underway. The Sheraton has also added a Rainforest Cafe (owned by the magical Canadian developer you mentioned) and has plans for another big project (Aquarium Restaurant which is also by Rainforest). On the smaller scale, Community Beer Works is working on a brewpub on Niagara and there have been a number of new restaurants on Third Street in the last year including Power City Eatery and The Craft.

      What THIS piece is about is outdoors tourism which is extremely popular. Clearly you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, there are two hotels in the middle of nowhere hours away from the nearest city. The piece is also about Niagara area which Lewiston has also been growing tremendously.

      But yes, it’s all just lipstick on a pig. The Canadian side on the other hand is filled with cheap wax museums and has destroyed all but a little tiny sliver of their park. We are investing heavily in our park infrastructure and developing hotels and restaurants all around it. Clearly you like most Buffalonians haven’t been to Niagara Falls in years.

      • Actually wrong on most accounts with your assessment of Canada’s “little tiny sliver”. They have a THREE MILE long park (Queen Victoria) that goes along the escarpment of the Falls. They have the quaint Dufferin Islands, which is like a little paradise of quiet stone paths for walking, biking, and just relaxing away from the chaos of NF. Clifton Hill & the adjacent Victoria Ave have always been known for their attractions since the 1960’s. They may have a few “cheap wax museums”, but you know what else they got?

        Endless restaurant choices. What else? Huge 4 & 5 star quality hotels. Government owned CLEAN casinos, a large convention center that’s about 2.5x the size of Buffalo’s, NUMEROUS public golf courses within a stone’s throw (What’s NF got? An Indian owned golf course & a shoddy public one in the ghetto).

        The new “hotels” popping up in downtown Niagara Falls are low rises. Not exactly something to be proud of. The only tall building on the American side is the Indian casino building which sticks out like a sore thumb. There’s also block & blocks of undeveloped land where the former Nabisco plant lies, and apparently no government official stopped the indian gas & go station behind the hotel.

        Oh, PS: The Giacomo hotel isn’t all that “high end”, as the average room is around $100, some as cheap as $85 a night.

        • rubagreta

          Would you be happier if it was the way it was five years ago? Because that’s what it sounds like.

          Tacky Clifton Hill and the adjacent streets are great for the under 13 crowd. The restaurants generally suck and are tourist traps.

          Most tourists coming to NF don’t give a crap about 4-star and 5-star hotels. They are on an inexpensive family vacation. 97% of the tourists don’t care about golf, and casinos are a dime a dozen.

          And by the way, you can shoot a cannon down the real downtown of NF Ontario (Queen Street) and not hit anybody.

          What NF Ontario does have is the great view of the falls. What it doesn’t have is a ghetto.

          Finally, NF Ontario is located about 90 miles from Toronto, which has a metropolitan area population of 6,000,000. If Rochester (also about 90 miles away) had a population of 6,000,000, NF New York would have just as many hotels and attractions as NF Ontario. Yes, the border crossing is a major impediment. And if metro Toronto had the same population as metro Rochester (1.1 million), NF Ontario would be nothing.

          • Oh, so none of the success of Ontario’s Niagara Falls is based on the blueprint that they aimed for tourism early on instead of industry? The Nabisco plant, Schoellkopf Power Plant only a quarter mile from the Falls itself? Let’s not forget the countless toxic (and odorific) plants along Buffalo Ave along the upper Niagara.

            Ontario had focused on tourism much earlier than the NY side. Most of their industry moved out or away from The Falls.

            Clifton Hill is great for FAMILIES, not just “under 13 crowd”. The Dinosaur Mini-golf, new go-kart track, & giant wheel are great family attractions. Do you not remember NF, NY failed attempts to replicate ANY of the success of the Canadian side? They had something called “Haunted House”, “Putt-Niagara” which was a 9-hole mini-golf that didn’t last long, also a generic “wax museum”. Even on its busiest summer days, “Old Falls Street” which should be bustling with tourists, has only a few stray folks walking about. It attempts to mirror the success of Canada, but fails miserably. Smokin’ Joe’s Native Center? WTF is that. Remember when good ol’ Smokin Joe tried to utilize the winter garden as some fun center? Yea… failure.

            Queen Street may be NF, Ontario’s “downtown”, but it’s irrelevant, especially since Lundy’s Lane is more popular with locals, and Fallsview Blvd is more like the adult-version of Clifton Hill.

            Let’s not even get into the countless B&B’s along the escarpment on Niagara Pkwy, and tourist areas that are extended all along the whole lower Niagara all the way to Niag on the Lake.

            Almost 50% of Canadians have passports compared to just 22% of Americans. So probably most people visiting from the GTA could easily cross into the American side of the Falls… question is: Why would they? There’s nothing to do that Ontario doesn’t already offer… just better.

            Face it, Niagara Falls, Ontario is a business model that New York should have followed closely, or at least taken a few pointers from. Instead, it’s the same old crap every year. Very little progress. What was the last new attraction in New York? An actual attraction. Tony Roma’s & an arcade?

          • 300miles

            “Face it, Niagara Falls, Ontario is a business model that New York should have followed closely”

            Oh God no. Competing against NY Ontario by copying them would be a failure. (and besides, Clifton hill is a nightmare for anyone that has passed puberty) NF NY needs to find its own niche that differentiates it from NY Ont. That way it’s not in competition… they can complement each other and NY can have it’s own success that doesn’t depend on them beating Ontario at their own game. NY needs to write its own game, and I think this new focus on Nature is a great angle for people that aren’t into the whole wax museum / haunted house / screaming teenager scene over the border.

          • “Clifton hill is a nightmare for anyone that has passed puberty”
            …not when you HAVE kids under 13. It’s a family attraction that parents can enjoy with the kids (learning from the various museums, mini-golf, giant wheel… etc).

            Either way, New York side is definitely doing SOMETHING wrong because the amount of people on the NY side definitely pales in comparison. The largest cluster of people are just lingering around the state park/goat island. That’s not exactly spending money back into the local economy.

          • 300miles

            ” …not when you HAVE kids under 13 ”

            Sure, but that’s a very temporary situation. In a few short years they’ll all grow out of it and lose interest. I’d rather have the NY side focus on age groups that aren’t so quickly outgrown. I’m not saying the Ontario side isn’t successful, but it’s a waste of time to try and beat them at their own game and then be in perpetual competition for the exact same crowd.

          • BushwackJack

            I’m sure that bringing in thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees will be an upgrade.

          • Mr. B

            “I’m sure that bringing in thousands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees will be an upgrade.”

            Canada did . . .


          • BushwackJack

            Canadians think Tim Horton’s is fine dining.

        • Three miles and a tiny sliver wide. We have a wider park for 15 miles to Youngstown which is getting a total makeover, already being worked on (major stair and pathway improvements this last year) not to mention Goat Island, Whirlpool State Park, DeVeaux Woods State Park and Devils Hole. The park also extends the other way toward the Grand Island Bridge where there is another great newer hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton with a great river view restaurant.

          We will only get mid-low rises for the most part as our view is river, but those views are still great. Check out the Double Tree restaurant/bar it is higher end and great river views.

          Also, re the Giacomo, I didn’t say EXPENSIVE, I said high end, which it is and it is a high rise with great views.

          Clifton Hill is tacky, we are capitalizing on nature and we have a lot of it and the hotel and restaurants popping up all along the path are evidence of this. Meanwhile in Canada, their big developer who owns these magic restaurants is developing in the US, their original casino is over, so they have a TGI Fridays? We have one in the Sheraton (actual real Sheraton) hotel owned by the Canadian developer who built Clifton Hill and is doing the same in the US. Again stop armchair reviewing Niagara Falls and actually go there on Memorial Day weekend, you will realize you haven’t been there in a decade.

          • I don’t armchair it… I’ve been going to NF USA for well over 35 years (that I can remember). I visit it at least twice a year just for giggles (last visit was in October of 2016. We biked from Devil’s Hole, around Goat Island, and back)… mostly to see what progress the USA side has made (let’s put it this way, the park has been ‘under construction’ for over a half a decade and it’s moving at a snail’s pace).

            Now, if you’re counting the “15 miles” from Youngstown to NF, then I have to defend the Canadian side, as they also got parks stretching from Niagara on the Lake all the way to the end of Victoria Park. There’s a nice little park where the Whirlpool Aero Car takes off, as well as the opposite end: Thompson’s Point, which used to allow actual rock climbing. That part was since closed, but the hiking trails down there in & around the bay are better than Devil’s Hole/Whirlpool State Park.

            Also, there’s a VERY popular paved bike path that starts off from Niagara on the Lake, through Fort George, all the way up the escarpment to around Whirlpool State Park (actually further, but it’s shared w/ the road). I know this because we’ve done the entire path in the spring & in the fall… very beautiful scenery with some wine stops along the way. So if you’re comparing apples-to-apples, this is roughly 13 miles of non-continuous park space. The thing is, however, the drive along the gorge is very nice, with wineries, large homes, tree-lined streets, and an overlook worthy of a lot of photos. NY side is the biggest mistake with the Moses Pkwy.

            Oh, and the “sliver” of a park (Queen Victoria Park) in NF Ontario may be a little ‘narrow’, but it’s meticulously maintained, especially for the amount of traffic (foot, bike, or vehicle) it receives. NF USA has an ok park, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. Take, for example, the bike path from Grand Island North bridge. It now stops at this chimney “monument”. Blocked off and torn up for almost two years where they put the new roundabout. In other words, there’s no connection for bikers (or walkers) as it just stops.

            The park should have been completed long ago, but instead sits there at a snail’s pace… same with along the gorge. How long does it take to rip up a road that has been approved & funds have been set? Face it, Niagara USA’s leaders are a bunch of idiots who can’t move anything along. That Robert Moses was supposed to be torn up YEARS ago. The article I saved long ago in 2004 showed the original plan for Niagara Falls State Park’s plan (there was supposed to be a nice pond instead of the roundabout). NF Canada in every shape & form out does the USA side.

          • Well if you went later in the season you very well know that (as depicted in the linked video on this post) that the Goat Island portion of the park is reopened and was worth the wait.

            You also know that the south part of the former Robert Moses Parkway now the Niagara Scenic Parkway has been redone and was pretty much finished the end of the 2016 season and that the North end is being worked on which started with a new State Park Police Station and will continue to make the parkway more pathway like, though it currently has a divided bike path which from a safety point is much safer than the scenic area on the Canadian side. You also know the US side has a PARK all the way to Youngstown whereas the Canadian side has a ROAD with some dotting of park and bike path, but mostly houses, which are not bad at all, I’m pro houses, but the discussion here is about TOURISM and scenic park tourism is a big draw. You also know Fort George is a replica whereas the Fort Niagara French Castle is believe to be the oldest building on the Great Lakes.

            Since you know all these things you know that the stairway between Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks on the Gorge Path received a total remake to make it easier for more casual hikers to access the bottom of the Gorge and that there are several access points all connected by the now Niagara Scenic Parkway no automobile lane which will become a true bike path in the next years but as you know there is also an even more scenic path at the top of the Gorge through woods for miles to the Power Project where there is a fishing dock area.

            But your ORIGINAL point was about development and when 4 brand new hotels and 1 doubled in size one along with another under construction were mentioned (what did they build in Canada last year again?) you had nothing to be mentioned you instead shifted to the scenery which the Parks system has invested heavily in over the last few years completing projects (Goat Island and Parkway South) and starting new ones. What has Canada invested in their parkway system? There is literally a HUGE park in Downtown Niagara Falls USA both on Goat Island and the connected islands and on the mainland, the State who runs this park has invested and continues to invest in the park system there. Hence the 5 major hotel constructions (and 6th ongoing) adjacent to the park.

            So if it’s development, it’s happening and happened for several years straight whether, private large projects like hotels, small projects like restaurants and bars or government projects like the Park and Culinary Institute. If it’s nature there are huge investments being made in the Park and access to the Gorge and if it’s private nature there is now not only a jetboat in Lewiston but another company in Youngstown to keep up with demand.

            And if it’s wax museums or haunted houses, there’s still a wax museum by the Hard Rock Cafe and a haunted house across from where the Hyatt Place is currently being built. If you need an arcade there are now two, one in the Sheraton next to the Rainforest Cafe and one in the expanded Holiday Inn next to the new Tony Roma’s. I’m not sure what you’re looking for? Other than to complain. There are plenty of national chain restaurants for tourists (Fridays, Hard Rock, Rain Forest, Tony Roma’s, Starbucks) and plenty of local restaurants of all grades. The owner of Rain Forest and the Sheridan hotel is the Canadian developer who owns the Canadian Rain Forest and he is known to be working on several other projects with large chains (Aquarium Restaurant) but he did a local type restaurant (Niagara American Grill) at the Day’s Inn he also owns.

            Is it the 19 yr old night clubs we’re missing? Because our drinking age is 21 so there’s not really that underage draw, but for 21 there is Stir in the casino if you want a nightclub and the drinks at the machines are free.

      • JCCAP

        I was there yesterday for this launch. I grew up near the falls, and my father is from the falls. I spent a fair amount of time there in my life. I was actually surprised at the development around the area. For example, I can tell you the convention and conference center alone is far and away better than Buffalo’s. I think they have recognized the opportunity and are on course to make changes. This is a great component of an over all much bigger picture.

    • Jonnno

      Agreed. Whatever happened to the Wonder Falls project that Cuomo and his friends Uniland (Montante) and Delaware North (Jacobs) said was going to be a game changer for Niagara Falls N.Y. Can we throw that on the scrap heap of other failed mega projects that were going to transform Niagara Falls into a real destination

      • Remember when Hamister was also on that list but now the Hyatt Place is being constructed? Major projects take time. But there have been 5 major hotel projects in the tourist area in the last two years. Those would be: Wingate by Wyndham, Double Tree by Hilton, Fairfield Inn by Marriot and Hampton Inn along with the doubling (literally) in size of the Holiday Inn while adding an arcade and Tony Roma’s. Locals always looking on the positive.

        I also have it on good authority that Cuomo and his shiesty friends are still working on both of those projects particularly the DNC one but he’s distracting people with the “Goat Island Lodge” project while he moves his ducks in a row. (not saying I’m in favor of any, just updating)

    • bburbs

      I guess then what you praising are the benefits of Democratic Socialism in Canada vs Kleptocracy and Oligarchy that we now have
      in the United States.

  • eagercolin

    Between this new website and Frank Parlato, there’s no way Niagara Falls can lose!

  • Von Hurley

    I wish the falls would do something similar to epcot in disney world. Maybe even throw in that city walk part in there too. Its needs some life and color down there with lights…..and more police too

    • More police is an understatement with all the reports of car thefts and even some violent crimes to tourists.

    • There is now a closer to tourist are Police Substation, it was in the Sheraton Hotel, now it is on Third Street, it is staffed by “Rangers” who are there to also help tourists with directions.

      RE: Epcot, while this project is forever promised (like Wonder Falls) there’s this

      But if you go down there on a summer night, when the fireworks go off and you’re on the edge of Luna Island (between Goat and the Mainland) with BIG Disney fans from out of town, they’ll still be impressed… I know, I’ve done it.

      • Von Hurley

        Yea…I was think also the Epcot Disney thing with all the different nationalities we have here…why not embrace and make something of it..Little Italy is anything of that now and there is sooo many Indian restaurants there now. With all the who come out of the country to visit I think it nice change and not copying Clifton hill. Also more places need to be open in the Winter.

  • HousingBubble2

    Honestly have no idea how a city/region can screw up one of the 7 wonders of the world; only in Buffalo/Niagara. Granted, our view of the falls is not the best but its still Niagara Falls and it should be loaded with excitement and adventure, shopping, ice skating, theme parks, etc, etc. If you want a better view, walk across the rainbow bridge and walk back. Not everyone wants to stay in Canada and some people can’t even get over the boarder ! The place is a gross disappointment.

    There is no draw here, no restaurants, no nothing. How is this even possible that the place has turned into a ghetto and the Niagara Falls Canada is thriving!?

    Perhaps Cuomo should throw a little more cash our way for Niagara Falls like he did with the Buffalo Billion. This place is ripe for tourists.