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One Niagara - An American Success Story

Off on another tour: Cataract Tours, owned and operated by Frank D'Agostino and Tom "Big Daddy" Kerr, provide tens of thou- sands of tourists the opportunity to take a guided tour of the American side of the falls every year.

Debonair Patrick "Sonny" Gibas handles retail operations both in side and out at OneNiagara

They wait in line to park. The parking lot had a line of cars waiting to get in. The parking lot, which used to be a gigan- tic 40-foot deep hole, blasted and dug for the unsuccessful Aquafalls aquarium project, provides parking for the patrons of the businesses inside One Niagara, the vast majority of whom will be visiting Niagara Falls.

One Niagara has become - like the name says- the Gateway to the Falls.

China beware: At One Niagara's Made in America store, the owners prove that Americans are not so witless that they cannot make and buy American-made products.

Cates BBQ is operated by TV chef Doug McDaniel.

Muslims and Hindus both come to eat at the Halal restaurant at One Niagara, operated by Baba Niser. Halal food is not unlike Kosher food - but for Muslims. The meat is prepared based on scriptural dic- tates.

An example of old-fashioned American enterprise was seen at One Niagara in Downtown Niagara Falls last weekend when more than 25 different stores were open and did a walloping good business.

All without government aid.

Since pictures speak more efficiently than words sometimes, here are some for your delectation.

They show at a glance what Niagara Falls people can do when Albany fails in their long-term objective to steal all tourism business in Niagara Falls and tax the rest of us to death.

One Niagara occupies one complete block adjacent to the Niagara Falls State Park and bounds four streets, Niagara, Rainbow, Mayor O'Laughlin and Prospect.

One Niagara was originally developed by the publisher and editor of this newspaper, Frank Parlato and after years of hard work it became an "overnight success."

It is now operated equally successfully by attorney and entrepreneur Paul Grenga.

Outside vendors provide an array of shopping choices.  An authentic barbeque, a Louisiana shaved ice stand, native American products, Mexican restaurant, an Indian Restaurant, souvenirs, clothing, and information are available outside to meet the demand of tourists on their way or coming back from Niagara Falls. Each of these is operated by a local person and not by the government subsidized NTCC, USA Niagara, Albany, the City of Niagara Falls, the County IDA or a large corporation on corporate welfare.

Inside a superb merchandise and souvenir store is operated by five brothers Greg, Rick, Darren, Mike and Joseph Gibas, the sons of the late Jack and Linda Gibas who operated the Green Onion store in the Rainbow Mall for many years.

The food court jams and understandably so: There are a lot of great choices. Run by locals, earning money without government handouts, they may be somewhat humble, but they are honest and profitable and are not chains - run by fat cats in some far away board room: The people that own the restaurants are actually the same people who buy, prepare and serve you food.

The Dog House is operated by Robert and Lily Boncore and their daughter Kristie; The Pita Stop is operated by well known restaurateur Dante Cipollitti, with his sons Matt and Mike; China Town is operated by Jun Huang Liu and his family; the India Kitchen is operated by Bhupinder Singh; Mama Mia's is operated by former council member and tavern owner Steve Fournier and his family; Jack's Sushi is operated by well known caterer Chris Churakos and Little Italy is operated by James Parlato. On the north side of the building is Halal Mobile Foods which is operated by Baba Niser.  There is also an Asian restaurant on the second floor operated by Sen Wei and a Made in America store. A Kosher and West Indies restaurant is in the offing. 

In short, this is real growth in Niagara Falls, based on tourism and it proves that, at the end of the day, Niagara Falls can handle Niagara Falls tourism.

We don't need Albany to do it for us.

There are many employed at these enterprises and by the management of One Niagara. This job growth was accomplished without taking government subsidies, part of the formula of its original development plan. In the coming weeks, we will be following closely this success story known as One Niagara, profiling various components of its endeavors this tourist season to show our readers how hard work is a better remedy for poverty than all the government handouts in the world combined.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

May 28, 2013