|Superstar Nik Wallenda with promoter Roger Trevino, the man who brought
Wallenda to the Falls.
|Wallenda wants to offer Niagara Falls, NY, an aerial and stunt show under a
big tent this season, if he can find a location and if Mayor Dyster does not work too hard to prevent it.
|Nik Wallenda's big tent show will be temporary, perhaps for only one
season, as he seeks a permanent site. The Niagara Falls Reporter has
learned that there are several sites under consideration. One of the most
attractive and practical sites may be the land adjacent to the old Nabisco
Plant (see photo right). The land is owned by Niagara Falls Redevelopment,
a company where Roger Trevino is a top executive.
|It was extremely curious that, while (l-r) Ontario Member of Parliament
Kim Craitor, NY State Senator George Maziarz and Niagara Falls Ontario
Mayor Jim Diodati came out to see Wallenda (2nd from right), Mayor Paul
Dyster could not make a single one of the half dozen Wallenda events.
|Unlike Mayor Paul Dyster, the council majority does not hold a grudge against Wallenda. In fact, they like him. ((l-r) Maziarz and Wallenda are seen with ppreciative council members Sam Fruscione and Glenn Choolokian who have repeatedly tried to show Wallenda he is welcome
|While Mayor Paul Dyster finds
time to attend every obscure event
large or small, he somehow could
not find time to attend any
Wallenda events, although he was invited by every one.
Fresh off his recent NBC Today Show appearance, where he announced a June 23 tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon, Nik Wallenda was back in Niagara Falls last Friday appearing at a number of events, including a public lunch, dinner and breakfast, and making the rounds with State Sen. George Maziarz and NFR executive Roger Trevino.
Wallenda was in town to receive the Visionary Award from the Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce for his walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope last June 15. But unofficially Nik was here to pursue his business interest in developing a permanent attraction in Niagara Falls.
That attraction is, for those who have not followed it closely, an aerial, stunt, and perhaps a little bit of the traditional circus show, where live performers do daring deeds that will give children and adults lifetime memories.
After all, whoever went to a real circus or saw an aerialist that ever forgot it?
Wallenda and his family will be among the performers and in addition, it has been mentioned that the celebrated aerialist Bollo Nock and others will make appearances.
Among the dignitaries celebrating at last Friday's breakfast hosted by Maziarz were, of course, Wallenda and Trevino, the promoter who brought him here, and the mayor of Niagara Falls.
No, I don’t mean Paul Dyster, but rather Mayor Jim Diodati, the mayor of Niagara Falls, Ont.
Oddly, Dyster did not appear at any of the Wallenda events.
Diodati did, and for that matter, so did Ontario Member of Parliament Kim Craitor.
This was to be expected since both these men, as well as Maziarz, Ceretto and Trevino on the American side, were the ones that made the Wallenda walk possible.
Dyster, for some inexplicable reason, did everything in his power to scuttle the Wallenda walk, and chances are, now that Wallenda is trying to develop a large scale attraction in the American side, Dyster will do anything he can to stop him, and perhaps ultimately, drive Wallenda over to the Ontario side.
This neglect of Wallenda occurred despite the fact that Wallenda said publicly, “I'm a U. S. citizen and I want my family attraction to be here where there is an immediate need... When I was here last year with my family, I had to go over the bridge to find family-friendly entertainment and I want to help change that on the U. S. side.”
At the Maziarz breakfast, it was intriguing that the senator introduced Wallenda and acknowledged Trevino's idea for a wire walk “seemed crazy at the time” but proved out that Trevino was right and that “Nik is the best PR man in Niagara Falls history.”
At the Wallenda press conference, Maziarz announced "very preliminary plans" for a statue in New York State Parks commemorating the history making June 15, 2012 event.
Wallenda also announced that his plans include an interim tented show this coming year that will lead to the development of a permanent attraction.
The tent would need to hold 1,700 people and a site has not yet been determined.
Wallenda currently performs in Sarasota, Fla.
“I brought several developers down to Sarasota to see two sold-out performances and the Wallenda energy was fantastic,” said Maziarz.
When asked, Maziarz declined to identify developers.
However, the Reporter confirmed the name of at least one of them: Joseph 'Smokin Joe' Anderson.
Anderson owns the Snow Park parcel which is one of three sites for the temporary tent attraction that the Reporter has learned is under consideration by Wallenda.
The other two sites are the open land next to the old Nabisco plant, a property owned by Niagara Falls Redevelopment.
The third possible site is land near the casino and owned by the Senecas.
While Trevino, who made the Wallenda walk happen in the first place, may have the inside track, Trevino told the Reporter that “as long as Nik comes to the Falls (New York), we would support any initiative.”
In the meantime, Wallenda is now set to walk across the Grand Canyon in June.
As with his historic Niagara Falls crossing, the event will be televised live.
This time, it will be on the Discovery Channel, and most importantly, be done without a safety harness.
During the NBC broadcast, Wallenda expressed his previous disappointment.
“You know, that was one of the setbacks of my walk over Niagara Falls. It was my dream to walk over Niagara Fall since I was about five or six years old but that part of the dream was taken away because I had to wear that harness and that's the exciting part of this -- I won't be wearing any tether or safety whatsoever.”
The ABC network required the harness as a financial condition to broadcast the event. The Discovery Channel, which won the bidding war for the exclusive broadcast rights, has no such restriction.
Most recently, in August 2012, Wallenda walked 1,300 feet without a harness or a net on a tightrope 100 feet high in Atlantic City.
Whereas the Niagara Falls walk was 1,500 feet long over the 200-foot high gorge, the Grand Canyon stroll will be 1,500 feet with the wire positioned approximately 1,500 feet over the Colorado River.
By the way, Wallenda also appeared last Friday on the Sal Paonessa show (www.nbn7900.com) where he gave a number of insights on his plans.
The show will run hourly until Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM.