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Goal of campus to boost economic growth by providing community & tourist activities year-round
Mayor Robert Restaino invited stakeholders in the Niagara Falls community to discuss plans for a new, multifaceted year-round event campus. Thursday afternoon at City Hall, Restaino, alongside his partners at CJS Architects, presented initial renderings of everything the facility has to offer both tourists and residents of Niagara Falls. This is one of seven stakeholder meetings in the Niagara Falls community.
Plans include an event space for sports games and concerts, an outdoor green space, rock-climbing wall, ropes course, and winter activities such as ice skating and sledding. The goal is to have something for everybody to enjoy year-round, while providing more entertainment experiences beyond Niagara Falls State Park.
Restaino said a facility like this will cause visitors to extend their stay in local hotels, bring them closer to restaurants and shops, and provide a major boost to the local economy. In turn, the residents of Niagara Falls can expect to see new employment opportunities, while also having a new center to help them feel more connected to the community with more options for activities.
(Images courtesy of the City of Niagara Falls and CJS Architects)
“I would simply invite everyone to recognize that this isn’t a silver bullet. But as we do all of the things that we’ve been talking about, whether it’s the reimagining of the Rainbow Center, or the continued investment in some of the properties that are downtown in the hospitality core, this is another piece of that puzzle,” Restaino said. “What this does is it continues to create opportunities for growth.”
Heart, Love & Soul Executive Director Mark Baetzhold said this as an opportunity to meet the needs of the area’s disadvantaged populations. “Standard models of economic development often promote big projects and big ideas, but I think projects that also focus on improving the quality of life of the folks who are struggling most is another pathway to economic development.”
Andria Klyczek of the Niagara County Center for Economic Development said this project has potential to attract Canadian citizens as well. “I think that we have a huge Canadian market that we have not done a good enough job tapping into. And the greater GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is exploding with population, and it’s only natural that they’re going to come across the border – and the more things that we have to offer them, the better it will be for us – and it will better the experience we’ll be able to offer our Canadian friends.”
No information was provided on potential funding sources for the complex.