Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, and State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-60th District, today applauded the expansion of the USA Niagara Development Corporation and its footprint north of Main Street in Niagara Falls's downtown. The expansion includes the Aquarium of Niagara, which will be a boost for the region's tourism industry.
"The expansion of USA Niagara and its footprint north of Main Street in downtown Niagara Falls is extremely important to the future economic development of our region and will help create jobs," Ceretto said. "This expansion will strengthen our tourism industry and is a real victory for the City of Niagara Falls and its residents."
Grisanti added, "The USA Niagara Development Corporation is a valuable job creation tool and its expansion in Niagara Falls is an important step in creating a more business-friendly atmosphere throughout the city. By expanding the footprint to include the Aquarium of Niagara, we are also helping to bolster Niagara's tourism industry, which will go a long way toward creating meaningful employment opportunities for local residents."
Gay Molnar, director of development at the Aquarium of Niagara, said, "I would like to thank Assemblyman Ceretto and Senator Grisanti for getting the job done on this important economic development initiative, and I look forward to working with them in the future to enhance our region's tourism industry."
Ceretto and Grisanti have been instrumental in expanding the USA Niagara footprint into downtown Niagara Falls north of Main Street. Earlier this year they introduced legislation (A.8221) to incorporate the Aquarium of Niagara and other parts of Niagara Falls into the USA Niagara Development Corporation footprint. While this legislation was not ultimately successful, the lawmakers argued that the bill was a catalyst for bringing increased economic development to the area.
At the conclusion of the 2011 legislative session, Ceretto and Grisanti contacted Leecia Eve of the Empire State Development Corporation to find out if the directors of USA Niagara have the jurisdiction in its bylaws to increase the size of the footprint within Niagara Falls. In her response to Ceretto, Eve said that USA Niagara and its board of directors had the authority to expand the footprint and agreed with their assertion that the inclusion of the aquarium is essential to any expanded economic footprint.