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Buffalo to Market Summer Attractions Next Year

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – For the first time ever, a string of area events will be marketed together. Buffalo Niagara will be the site of the "I Love New York 2003-Summer Festival."

A unique collaboration of cultural institutions and family entertainment is expected to create a tourism and economic boom. Empire State Development Corporation Vice President and Regional Director Luke Rich says it will focus on attracting tourists to boost the economy and Buffalo's image.

"We hope the end result will be that the world will know we are a truly great cultural destination," Rich said.

The summer festival will be marketed across New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Philadelphia and Cincinnati. Richard Geiger, president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau, says no other city has taken the "I Love New York Summer Festival" to this level.

"In other cities they would take just one festival and designate that as the 'I Love New York Summer Festival,'" Geiger said. "We're taking all of them and putting them under this one umbrella."

The event will kick off with the Allentown Arts Festival and end with Curtain Up. Erie County Executive Joel Giambra says this "historic collaboration" has organizations thinking "out of the box."

"We have museum curators thinking beyond the frame," Giambra said. "We have zoo keepers thinking outside the cage. Event promoters are thinking beyond the stage."

Empire State Development Corporation is committing $250,000 to market the festival. The CVB is adding another $100,000 with a goal of raising $750,000 to promote what they're titling "One Summer-long Sensation."