Capitalizing On Wallenda Walk | News
NIAGARA FALLS, NY - Nik Wallenda's successful crossing of Niagara Falls on a high wire last Friday was a spectacle to be sure...perhaps even more so than anyone imagined.
But does it have "staying power" in terms of drawing future tourists to the Falls?
"That's a great question," said John Percy, President of the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation, (NTCC) who believes the answer is "yes".
"While you can't come see Nik Wallenda cross the Falls again, what you can come and see is that beautiful backdrop that was behind him, and people will want to see that," Percy said.
Niagara Falls, NY Mayor Paul Dyster says if history any teacher, then there is precedent for that
"I still talk to people who say they saw the Marilyn Monroe movie "Niagara" years ago, and ever since then they've known someday they had to come to Niagara Falls," Dyster told WGRZ- TV.
"This man (Wallenda) has come here and given us this amazing gift of publicity for the world to see this fantastic tourist attraction. Now what we have to do is deliver on the promise," said Eddie Friel, an Expert in Residence at Niagara University's College of Hospitality & Tourism Management.
Friel and others believe that it's key to exploit the connection between the Falls and Wallenda's amazing feat, while it is still fresh in the minds of potential visitors.
"So it is our job, to continue this marketing effort, and this PR effort that has just exploded in the last few days," said Percy.
Wasting no time, the NTCC has already distributed 20,000 commemorative bumper stickers extolling Wallenda's walk.
It also agrees, however, that Wallenda's feat is not a "silver bullet" to cure what has long ailed the New York Side of the Falls, compared to its cross river neighbor in Canada, which offers a larger number and wider variety of amenities and attractions to tourists.
Observers also believe that if Niagara Falls is to create and publicize future attractions, elective office holders must put aside political differences and work together.
Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Chief Photojournalist Andy DeSantis.