Assemblyman John Ceretto applauded the accomplishments of Nik Wallenda, who became the first person ever to cross the Niagara Falls gorge on a tightrope.
Ceretto noted the nighttime spectacular was the culmination of more than a year of hard work by the Wallenda team, New York State Parks, Niagara County residents and state and local officials from the U.S. and Canada.
"I applaud Nik and his team for their vision, determination and moxie in both planning and pulling off this historic event," Ceretto said Friday. "Tonight's walk has brought world-wide attention to our city, its parks and attractions. Niagara Falls is back; front and center in the tourism world, where we belong."
Ceretto was one of the event's most vocal proponents, sponsoring the legislation with his colleagues (State Sen. George Maziarz, State Sen. Mark Grisanti and Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak) to allow Wallenda to achieve his dream. Ceretto also worked to ensure local stakeholders were invested in this event, convening a marketing task force meeting March 23, leading to subsequent weekly meetings at Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. offices. Ceretto also worked to ensure Canadian support, communicating with Parks Commission and tourism officials across the river. Finally, Ceretto led the efforts to keep the Wallenda walk free to the public, reaching out to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his support.
"My enthusiasm for this event has been well documented and comes from my passion for my hometown and my confidence in Nik. Nik has been and will continue to be a terrific ambassador for our city and is a consummate professional. Great job Nik," Ceretto said.
"The job is not done however," he noted. "From the beginning, I have stated that this event is not a cure all for Niagara Falls. As a city and a region, we must capture this moment and our renewed relevance in the tourism world and turn that into something lasting."