If Nik Wallenda taught us anything from his June 15th,2012 feat at Niagara Falls, its that it doesn't matter how insane, how impossible, how daring, how hopeless something appears to be, with the right determination and passion for success, anything can be accomplished. Although Nik Wallenda brought in immense capital with his spectacle down at the Terrapin Point, the true gift to the city is was his dispay of grit, determination, and just a bit of foolishness. A foolishness that symbolically conveys to the onlooker to take a stand and step out of your comfort zone into a place where your dreams can be accomplish. If you challenge the ordinary, you CAN become extraordinary. Nik Wallenda did just that on June 15th, 2012 and created a symbolic and historic blueprint for the revival of Niagara Falls NY.
For the the first time in the last 3 years that I've spent working in downtown Niagara Falls, there is a unified effort to brand Niagara Falls in spectacular fashion for the entire world to see. The formerly empty and dull thoroughfare of Old Falls Street that the city spent millions of dollars on redesigning and reconstructing is now booming with over 20 vendors, banners, and beautiful landscaping. Neighboring businesses and business owners are doing their own part in preparing for the national spotlight that the Nik Wallenda walk is drawing to the Buffalo-Niagara Region. The Comfort Inn, owned by Maid of the Mist Owner James Glynn, has invested in 4 "shacks" much like the ones on Old Falls Street; although his retail strip remains completely vacant despite hundreds of tourists traveling past it everyday. The City of Niagara Falls perked up by refacing the former eyesore vendor booths with a much more inviting maroon tone and painting the trim white giving them a more comfortable presence on Old Falls Street. Niagara Falls Redevelopment even decided to spent some cash on cleaning up the former Native American Cultural Museum (otherwise known as the Turtle Building). However Niagara Falls Redevelopment still only managed to erect a banner 1/2 the size of the Niagara Street Business Associations banner despite having a far greater amount of capital at their disposal ... All things taken into account, the downtown district has dramatically shaped up in the last few weeks and even shows signs of continued growth with several vendors locking into their booths throughout the summer. Maybe Old Falls Street will become a Vending District as it was planned in the city's 2009 Comprehensive Plan!