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State parks system eclipses 60 million visitors again in 2013

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The total number of visitors to the state's parks and historic sites decreased last year but eclipsed 60 million for the second straight year.

The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation on Wednesday released attendance figures for 2013 showing 60,137,898 people visited 220 sites. In 2012, there were 60.3 million visitors.

Niagara Falls State Park remained the most-visited site in the system, with 8,863,301 visitors, state parks said.

Here are the sites that had the most visitors last year:

Niagara Falls St Pk 8,863,301
Riverbank St Pk 4,084,296
Jones Beach 3,907,682
Saratoga Springs 2,936,194
Robert Moses St Pk 2,644,855
Bear Mountain St Pk 1,962,949
Sunken Meadow St Pk 1,797,632
East River St Pk 1,359,347
Captree St Pk 1,197,621
Green Lakes St Pk 1,122,949
Roberto Clemente 1,086,625
Heckscher St Park 1,016,340
Old Croton Aqueduct 1,006,966
Montauk Point 832,040
Allegany Red House Area 790,645

Continue reading "State parks system eclipses 60 million visitors again in 2013" »

Video: Dyster on Wallenda, economic development and a new Bills stadium

For his In Focus series, my colleague Brian Meyer spoke with Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster about economic development, Nik Wallenda's Darien Lake shows and being named to a committee looking at a potential new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.

 

Continue reading "Video: Dyster on Wallenda, economic development and a new Bills stadium" »

Vitello, Weber elected to lead Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board

Lisa A. Vitello was elected chair of the Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board at its first meeting of the year Monday night.

Vitello, who has been a member of the board for several years, is also a member of the city Planning Board. She told the group her past also includes 24 years as an educator and a restaurant manager in the former Rainbow Centre mall.

Continue reading "Vitello, Weber elected to lead Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board" »

International Business Times poll: Niagara Falls is No. 1 place every American should visit

"A reinvigorated Niagara Falls is finally peeking out of the mist."

That's a line by International Business Times travel editor Mark Johanson about the Falls, which sits atop its list of "the 20 places every American should visit."

Niagara Falls got the largest percentage of voters to vote for it in an online poll conducted by IBT. The online publication shows a photo of the Horseshoe Falls with its writeup.

Continue reading "International Business Times poll: Niagara Falls is No. 1 place every American should visit" »

Public meetings in Niagara Falls government this week

The Tourism Advisory Board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in room 117 in City Hall, 745 Main St.

The board of trustees of Niagara Falls Public Library will meet at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the library, 1425 Main St.

Mayor Paul A. Dyster will hold his State of the City address at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, 28 Old Falls St.

Continue reading "Public meetings in Niagara Falls government this week" »

Falls effort focused on saving the Old Stone Chimney shifts into next gear

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A passion is being rekindled in Niagara Falls for a nearly forgotten piece of history.

There's an effort to save a relic dating back more than 250 years, connected to the times when the French and British occupied the region.

It's known as the Old Stone Chimney, and to those who want it's story told, it represents an opportunity to boost area heritage tourism efforts.

The chimney, which was part of French and British forts here and by virtue of its location at the upper landing of the Niagara Portage on the trade route connecting the Atlantic to the upper Great Lakes, is full of stories.

The chimney also connects the Falls to a time when plenty of powerful and influential people involved in the production of electricity and in other industries had their eyes on the area, said Christopher J. Puchalski, who's heading an effort to preserve and protect the two-story, 60-ton hearth.

Continue reading "Falls effort focused on saving the Old Stone Chimney shifts into next gear" »

DelMonte named chair of USA Niagara Development

Updated 3:18 p.m.

Former Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte has been appointed chair of USA Niagara Development Corp., the state's economic development arm in Niagara Falls.

Also appointed to the agency's five-member board was Paul S. Nanula, president of Nanco Group, and Monica Pellegrino Faix, executive director of the Richardson Center Corp.

Modern Corporation's Gary E. Smith and Michael A. Williamson Sr. of Williamson Funeral Home in Niagara Falls were both reappointed to the panel.

Continue reading "DelMonte named chair of USA Niagara Development" »

Falls lawmakers to consider appointments to Tourism Advisory Board

The Niagara Falls City Council on Monday night will consider appointments to the 16-member Tourism Advisory Board.

Five individuals are up for reappointment: Adrienne Bedgood, Laurie Davis, Mark Mistriner, Gay Molnar and Lisa Vitello.

Continue reading "Falls lawmakers to consider appointments to Tourism Advisory Board" »

Another hotel planned on Niagara Falls Boulevard

SleepInn

A proposal for a $4 million Sleep Inn hotel was approved this week by the Niagara Falls Planning Board.

Above is a rendering of the proposed hotel, as well as the site plan for the parcel at 7804 Niagara Falls Blvd.

Continue reading "Another hotel planned on Niagara Falls Boulevard" »

Map: The players on Old Falls Street, too often a ghost town for Niagara Falls

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Officials from the state and the city of Niagara Falls will tell you Old Falls Street is a work in progress.

The Buffalo News examined the current state of affairs on the important street in downtown Niagara Falls and found that too often, the street is a ghost town. Some parts are vacant even in the busy tourist season when 8 million people visit Niagara Falls State Park, which sits at one end of the road.

Continue reading "Map: The players on Old Falls Street, too often a ghost town for Niagara Falls" »

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About The Brink

Tales of a world-famous natural wonder and the city that surrounds it. The Brink is home for all you need to know about Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker joined The Buffalo News in 2007, where he has covered communities in Western New York as a beat reporter, multimedia journalist and assistant online editor. A Buffalo native, he began his career in journalism at the Niagara Gazette.

@The_Brink_Blog | abesecker@buffnews.com

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