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Niagara Falls tourism -- where do we go from here?

After a ride on the Maid of the Mist and a drenching at the Cave of the Winds, the choices for tourists are limited in downtown Niagara Falls -- unless, of course, you're a gambler.

    The Seneca Niagara Casino surely can keep visitors in the central business district, until they become separated from too much of their money, but the list of other entertainment choices remains relatively thin: a modest visitor center, an aquarium, the Hard Rock Cafe, a small number of restaurants, several bars.

     Much of downtown is either empty or underused. The Rainbow Centre mall, the old Oxy building, the former Wintergarden, the ex-Turtle. These are hardly the kind of welcome mats that local, regional, state and national leaders should want laid out for international visitors and city residents alike.

     But there they sit, year after year after year, with little will, it often seems, for those in charge to take real action.

     A relatively new core of leaders in Niagara Falls tourist circles vows change. We asked four of those leaders this question:

     What does Niagara Falls most need to improve tourism downtown?

     Their answers are in today's Niagara Weekend section for Niagara County readers of The Buffalo News, and on the Niagara County section of for our online readers.

     How would you answer the question?

-- Niagara County Bureau Chief Scott Scanlon


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