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Niagara Falls Third Street Development Project

NIAGARA FALLS, NY - Local developer Craig Avery is hoping some hard work and more than $800,000 in grants and private investments will help revitalize Third Street in Niagara Falls.

Avery bought a building located at 451 Third Street for $180,000 at an auction.  It was a foreclosure that had been vacant for more than 10 years.  He's currently gutting the building, and once renovations are complete, the building will be home to five businesses and eight apartments.

Three businesses have already signed leases or letters of intent to move in once the construction is done.  The completion date is set for some time in November.

Avery hopes renovating the once abandoned building and filling it with commercial and residential tenants will bring in more tourist traffic.

Falls City Council Questions Tourism Spending

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - Council Chairman Sam Fruscione says The Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation has become a "not-for-profit agency that has really gone crazy with expenditures".

Fruscione is reacting to a review and analysis of expenditures by the agency. The review was commissioned by Niagara Falls City Council. It points out several items that Fruscione says "raise a red flag".

The study questions a number of expenditures, including a $25,000 dollar bonus paid to NTCC C.E.O. & President John Percy without board approval. Other items include expenditures at trade shows, expense reports totalling 10's of thousands of dollars by NTCC executives, and the expenditure of over $18,000 for massage therapists to give neck rubs at trade shows over a three-year-period.

Percy defended the spending as investments and the price of doing business in today's world of hospitality and tourism.

Hello Yesterday! An 80's Festival

Celebrate all the best of the 80's at Hello Yesterday! An all-ages, all-day 80's Festival featuring A Flock of Seagulls, When In Rome, Animotion, Dramarama and Gene Loves Jezebel.  The festival includes a LipSync contest, 80's Guitar Hero and much more!

Dress totally 80's for the best 80's costume contest and win a new iPad!   Tickets are available for purchase online at helloyesterday.net or at both Record Theatre outlets in Buffalo (1800 & 3500 Main Street).

General Admission on-line tickets are $35 (plus applicable fees). Tickets the day of the event are $45.  Children 13 and under are free.

Portions of the proceeds will benefit Hunter's Hope. Festival attendees will have an opportunity to contribute to the community and help Hunter's Hope by participating in the silent auction. The tent will be open all day with two auctions going on during the festival.

Tourism Up At Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, N.Y. - The struggling economy has hit a lot of businesses hard this year. But one local industry managed to gain ground during the recession; Niagara Falls tourism.

According to the latest data from the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation, tourism is up year-to-year by eight to ten percent. That's based on increases in hotel occupancy and the number of visitors to local attractions.

"We also did a larger advertising campaign, the largest we've done thus far, a larger area that we've covered," said John Percy, Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation President/CEO. "We covered six different cities with a large advertising campaign in June and July. We also did a local campaign. We did advertising in the Western New York region to advertise to the local market on what they might be missing in Niagara County."

Percy says good weather also helped and the changes in passport regulations have kept more people on this side of the border.

Today Show Throws a Wedding; Buffalo Couple Finalists

Lauren Ulatowski of Lewiston, NY and her fiance' Greg Merante are finalists for the annual "Today Show Throws a Wedding" contest.  Nationwide voting ends Tuesday.

Lauren Ulatowski told Channel 2 by phone from Long Island, she and Greg met 11 years ago and have dated for the past 8 years.  Lauren and Greg lived in Western New York for 6 years before moving to Long Island to live and work.  Lauren works as an admission counselor for a SUNY school and Greg is an insurance manager.

Ulatowski says she watches the Today Show every morning and thought that when and if the time came, she'd apply for the contest.  After submitting a music video application, Lauren and Greg were picked.  Ulatowski says the process started 2 months ago and included background checks and extensive interviews with Today Show staff.

42" PLASMA for $399 Today!!! / Great Big Store Deals

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"2 Pack a Backpack" A Huge Success!

BUFFALO, NY - The need is greater than ever as this year's "2 Pack a Backpack" Drive to collect school supplies for the Boys and Girls Club. This year's drive has wrapped up and is a big success. 

Last year, enough supplies were collected to fill six school buses, which helped supply over 3,000 book bags. 2 On Your Side needs your help to make this year's efforts our biggest and best ever.

Volunteers will work through the weekend to organize and distribute the supplies.

If you would like to register for the school supplies, you can contact the Boys and Girls' Club at:  716-825-1016 on Monday.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo and Boys & Girls Clubs of Niagara Falls coordinate the distribution of the backpacks and school supplies.