NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - Most of the tourists who visit Niagara Falls make it a quick visit. Fewer than half stay overnight and only about five percent stay a week or more, according to the latest survey.
Mayor Paul Dyster said, "Once they've looked at the Falls, what's the next thing that you do to stay that extra day, to get a hotel room for an extra night?"
That seems to be the problem that the numbers bear out: there's not enough to do.
Lt. Governor Robert Duffy came to WNY on Friday to tell developers there will be $40 million available for new attraction initiative.
"When you have $8 million a year over five years, it's a lot of money to start projects in the City of Niagara Falls, so I think it's going to attract not only local and statewide, but also national and international groups as well," he said.
The Falls received international attention last summer when Nik Wallenda made his spectacular walk.
Sen. George Maziarz said, "It's not rocket science. We need a Nik Wallenda family attraction here. We need a comedy hall of fame here. We need an upgraded aquarium here."
The Niagara Falls Aquarium is 48-years-old. It needs a lot of work, but plans on using new funds to renovate and create new exhibits. The NYS Power Authority has already earmarked $1.75 million for an aquarium overhaul, starting with a new penguin exhibit.
Aquarium executive director Gay Molnar said, "So people come and stay more hours, spend more money here in the region."
Of course the U.S. side of the Falls has always had what some consider its biggest draw: an up close and personal connection.
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