Tourism officials say, based on the increased number of visitors to the Niagara USA Official Visitor Center, the American side of Niagara Falls is enjoying a record turnout this summer.
The Niagara USA Official Visitor Center reports a 100-percent increase in the number of visitors in June, compared to one year ago, and a fourfold increase in visitors during the Independence Day holiday.
A curiosity about the ice remaining from a frigid winter, renewed marketing efforts and a general feeling of resurgence by the public are among the factors credited. There are also some new amenities available to tourists.
"Here in downtown Niagara Falls we have a new hotel that just opened up. Over the next couple of years we'll have more hotels opening up, hopefully more dining and attraction options in the downtown corridor," said John Percy, president and CEO of the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation.
According to Percy, tourism officials recognize the need to create entertainment options outside the summer months. One possibility to provide year-round entertainment is the Wonderfalls project recently pitched by Governor Andrew Cuomo. That project would see the long-closed Rainbow Centre mall reborn as a mixed-use facility featuring a hotel, restaurants and retail.