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Monday, June 17, 2013

Niagara Falls State Park Renovations

New York State recently unveiled $1.8 million in renovations at the Three Sisters Islands park in Niagara Falls. The changes, the first phase of a multi-year plan, include  a new trolley shelter, expanded parking area, new pedestrian walkways and overlooks, enhanced landscaping, as well as new railings.

(on the NY side with the falls in the background...when I had shorter hair)

 Luna Island received a $1.1 million overhaul, including new pedestrian walkways, overlook improvements, enhanced landscaping as well as new benches, light posts and railings. The Cave of the Winds saw a $1.7 million renovation of the tunnel that leads visitors to the gorge as well as the installation of new high speed elevators, according to the state.

(Looking over the falls on the NY side)

There was also a groundbreaking last week for $4.3 million to revitalize Prospect Point.
Listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places, Niagara Falls State Park attracts over 8 million visitors a year. And Niagara Falls, in general, attracts about 12 million tourists annually, officials said.

While in many respects, the US and Canada have to partner on many things with regards to Niagara Falls tourism it definitely feels like the Canadian side gets a bit more of the tourists - despite the closer views available on the American side, including at the state park.

I found this Washington Post article on the topic interesting where they grade each of the tourism aspects of the US and Canadian sides. With categories like water-fun, hotels, casinos, restaurants, and other tourism sites, Canada did end up winning.
One thing that I think would definitely help, would be turning the State Park into a National Park. Which, honestly, I'm kinda surprised hasn't already happened.
But, I really think with further investment, NY and the US can really improve and entice more of the Niagara Falls tourists.


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