Niagara Falls Reporter
Home | Archive / Search
JUNE 03 - JUNE 11, 2014

Average Tourist Visit a Few Hours, Cuomo, Glynn, Delaware North like it that Way

By James Hufnagel

June 03, 2014

Recently we were privileged to attend a small, informal gathering at the Como Restaurant on Pine Avenue, at which Assemblyman John Ceretto held court.

After the "Hail fellow, well met", and the glad-handing and back-slapping, Assemblyman Ceretto regaled us with the following tale: "When the Governor (Andrew Cuomo) came to Niagara Falls, he and I drove all over the city in the back seat of a limo. I was so proud to be escorting the Governor and showing him around the city that day he came here. He was looking out the window and was very interested in what he saw and made many compliments. Towards the end of the drive, he turned to me and told me in a loud voice, 'Do you know what this city needs? Family-oriented attractions!'"

Now, if we had been in the back seat of that limo with the governor, our reply would have been, "Governor Cuomo, the premiere family attraction in the entire nation is already here, the problem is, you own it. You provide parking, meals, sightseeing, gifts and souvenirs and even a limited-access dedicated parkway to facilitate entry and exit."

But if Mr. Ceretto, a former State Parks administrator, responded in such a manner, he didn't say so. He did, however, proceed to intimate to the small gathering that negotiations to place a splash park in the former Rainbow Centre mall downtown were quivering on the horizon.

As one wag commented on a newspaper web site reporting Cuomo's recent visit here to announce a competition for family attractions in downtown Niagara Falls, "Here comes Putt-Putt!"

The fact is, it's doubtful the governor, his State Parks agency or Niagara Falls State Park contractors Maid of the Mist and Delaware North really want competing attractions in the city. That's because the whole business model of the Niagara Falls State Park is based on "daytrip" tourists who stay only a few hours and then leave for Canada, Buffalo or other destinations.

At the official Niagara Falls State Park web site, the following appears in the "Frequently Asked Questions" section:

Q: How long should I plan to stay?

A: To see everything in Niagara Falls State Park, plan to stay at least a day.

No mention is made of venturing into the city. And why should there be? Everything tourists could possibly want is supplied them in the state's park.

At the Yahoo Answers site, two helpful souls advise a tourist as to how long to stay. "It only takes about two hours to see the attractions around the Falls" and "To do everything, about two hours, unless you do the boat trip which I recommend."

(Ed. note: The Maid of the Mist boat tour is only 15 minutes long. However, the wait, standing in line, often in the hot sun, often last hours.)

Elsewhere on the web, the heavily-trafficked site spells it out: "Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours."

An August, 2004 "Project Report - Market Analysis for Tourist Attractions" prepared by consultants for USA Niagara, Albany's development arm in Niagara Falls, puts the average length of stay by same-day visitors to Niagara Falls at 4.3 hours.

A more recent June, 2011 follow-up to USA Niagara, strangely, does not specifically report the average length of stay, so I called the Niagara Falls State Park and got Rachel on the phone, who thanked me for calling. Our conversation went as follows:

Me: "Yes, we're planning a trip to Niagara Falls and would like to know if you could please tell me how much time we should spend and still see everything."

Rachel: "Usually that would take about six hours."

Me: "That's fine. So tell me, if we arrive at the park at 9 am and finish at three in the afternoon, is there anything to do in the city?"

Rachel: "Ehhh... There's not much to do in the city."

This sign, still in sad condition one week into the tourist season as it has been all winter, is for Devil's Hole State Park on the Moses Parkway. Perhaps the neglect is due to the fact that Devil's Hole, unlike Niagara Falls State Park, contributes nothing to the Albany bottom line.

Sign directing tourists to Delaware North's Top of the Falls restaurant in the Niagara Falls State Park, across the street and mere yards from the privately owned Red Coach Inn.
For many years an abandoned road leading from the Niagara Aquarium into the gorge was utilized by hikers and fisherman. Now it is off-limits, apparently too close for comfort to James Glynn's new Maid of the Mist boatyard fortress at the base of the formerly natural Niagara Gorge. As the sign warns, you may be "procecuted" (sic) for taking this road that leads to Glynn's domain below. We don't exactly know what it means to be "proce- cuted". Perhaps it's a cross of the words "prosecuted" and "electro- cuted". After losing his franchise on the Canadian side due to corruption exposed in this newspaper, it's widely believed that Glynn would like to "procecute" us.






Dyster Garbage Plan Utter Trash; Residents, Businesses to Pay Price
Owens' Garbage Plan Leaves Much to be Desired, as Debacle Approaches
Crucial Day Coming for Bridgewater Zoning Board Can Send Developers Packing
Lewiston Residents Paid for Tango, Moonwalking, Abacus, Records Show
Dyster Wants Taxpayers to Pick Up Tab for Failed Government Project
State Park for Sale: Glynn Gets More Than Half the Total Revenue in the Niagara Falls State Park
The Reporter's Position on Reporting Suicide
Allies Push Pay Hike for Niagara Health Director
Lockport Alderman's Dad gets Contract for New Fire House Doors
Golisano-Congel Bid for Bills on Track
Rochester Firm that Replaced Local Contractor On Waterfront Job Named in Discrimination Lawsuit
Average Tourist Visit a Few Hours, Cuomo, Glynn, Delaware North like it that Way
De-Olmsteding Park Promotes Short Stays
This Week in Stupid Crime
NY's Schumer leads Democrats to Try to Soften First Amendment

Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina