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Investments in improved cultural stock paying off, says local tourism leader

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Between public spending and private investment, Buffalo has seen $800 million in infrastructural changes that one local tourism agency leader says has been paying off.

Numerous local cultural attractions have recently completed or will soon undergo multimillion-dollar capital projects. They include the Buffalo Zoo, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Darwin Martin House, Buffalo Museum of Science and Shea's Performing Arts Center. Other attractions, including Canalside and HarborCenter, have both drawn countless tourists and locals to downtown Buffalo since their respective openings.

Patrick Kaler, who leads the tourism office Visit Buffalo Niagara, said the local cultural growth has, in turn, been keeping his office busy.

"Even the (Buffalo Niagara) Medical Campus, because that's changing the landscape of medical tourism in the types of medical conventions that we're able to bring to the destination," said Kaler. "All of these things, and people may not think that they relate to tourism but, somewhere or another, they do. They have a place to bring different meetings and events or activities to our destination."

And there's more coming. Next year, Explore and More Children's Museum is planning to open its new center in Buffalo's Canalside district.

"There are still other opportunities that are going to be coming online. That's great for us because it's still not done yet," Kaler said. "We have years to come of this new development, new things that can be brought toward our destination. A long time coming of things to see and do."

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