FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 8, 2010
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES: NIAGARA FALLS NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA COMMISSION TO HOLD FIRST MEETING TOMORROW; COMMISSION WILL DEVELOP PLAN TO BOOST TOURISM AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN REGION
Despite Niagara Falls' Beauty, Culture and History, Region's Tourism and Economic Development Has Been On the Decline in Recent Years
In 2008, Schumer-Sponsored Bill Signed into law to Designate Niagara Falls as National Heritage Area - Commission Has Been Awarded $15 Million to Revitalize Region
Since 2001, Schumer Pushed Feds to Make Commitment to Niagara Falls; Tomorr
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Commission will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, December 8th at 2pm. The meeting will take place at the Power Vista in Lewiston and marks the first time that the commission, which Schumer has pushed for since 2001, will meet to discuss the development of a management plan to revitalize Niagara Falls and the surrounding Niagara Region, specifically working to boost the area’s tourism sector which has been in decline in recent years.
“We’ve always known that Niagara Falls has great potential to be a tourist hub and tomorrow’s meeting marks a step forward in revitalizing the region in a way that will result in job creation and economic growth,” Schumer said. “This commission brings together the best of Niagara Falls from the private and public sector.”
The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Commission was authorized in 2008 when President Bush signed a bill designating Niagara Falls as a National Heritage Area, freeing up an initial $10 million in funding to revitalize the region – the fund now stands at $15 million. Schumer first began advocating for this type of commission in 2001 when he submitted a list of ways to rejuvenate Niagara Falls to the National Park Service. The following year, Schumer secured $300,000 in funding to implement some of his recommendations, which included pursuing a National Heritage Area designation. A 2005 study by the National Park Service found that designating Niagara Falls as a local heritage area had broad support in the community and that the city contained the infrastructure necessary to warrant that designation. In 2007, Schumer sponsored the Niagara Falls National Heritage Act which was signed into law in 2008, officially marking the Niagara Falls region as a National Heritage Area. The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area stretches from the western boundary of Wheatfield, to the mouth of the Niagara River on Lake Ontario, including the communities of Niagara Falls, Youngstown and Lewiston.
Tomorrow’s opening meeting will be a critical step forward for the commission as they look to use the $15 million in funding to bring back the area’s infrastructure and tourism so that business growth, economic development and job creation can take place. The chief charge of the Commission is to reverse the area’s decline of the last several years and bring the community together around a set of proposals that will improve the region’s economy for business and tourists looking to visit.