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Niagara Falls Council approves land sale for planned water park

WBFO News file photo

It has been a good tourism year for Niagara Falls, New York. Now, there are some changes in the works on that decades-long quest to keep people for more hours and more days.

City Council members on Monday approved the sale of around a half-acre of land to the adjacent Sheraton at the Falls on Third Street in the heart of the tourism area. It's reportedly the site for a planned water park.

Council members are also talking about hiring a tourism director to push city business within the regional Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation in quest of that longer stay.

"There's more opportunity for everyone in the market," said Sheraton Operations Vice President Doug Nickerson.
"Certainly, there's employment opportunity, the busier that we are the more jobs we create and the more taxes we pay, longer people park in the city lots. So, it's a win for everybody. When people stay and we encourage a positive attitude and cooperation among businesses, it's a win for everybody. We want to be one of the companies that helps drive that," Nickerson said.

Council Chairman Andrew Touma says there's general agreement to hire a tourism director for the city but there are a lot of details to be worked out, from where the director's office will be to how that person will work with the NTCC to get tourists out into the neighborhoods, with cash and plastic.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.