NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the unofficial start to the summer season kicks off this weekend, businesses in “the honeymoon capital” are hoping for a comeback after COVID.
And what they’re telling us is it really hasn’t been much of an advantage to them that American tourists have to stay on this side and can’t go to Canada. They’d rather see things back to normal soon and today, the state park system opened a new connector to get people from the water to the businesses.
“For too long, there have been these barriers between the city and the park,” NYS Parks District Director Mark Mistretta said.
But today state parks officials opened a new stairway to bring visitors from the upper rapids of Niagara State Park to Buffalo Avenue in 3rd Street to support businesses like Savor, where the culinary students will open their dining room for the season tomorrow.
Josh Blumberg of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute said, “we feel that there’s a ton of pent up demand for the area also with the border closed, the view of the Falls is constricted to this side. So we’re expecting to be very busy already seeing more activity in the street and there’s a lot of optimism.”
Leroy and Kris Bernier spent the last five nights here from Connecticut.
“We really thought it was gonna be like a big anniversary adventure. We would go to a different restaurant every night you know. But there’s really nothing. It’s too bad because they don’t even seem to have a maid where we are at the Hyatt,” they said.
“They were here for three days and you couldn’t hear enough compliments from them. They were just flabbergasted at the beauty of the area. The groups national president saw their pictures they posted in the comments, and they are now talking about bringing the national convention for this organization here in 2023,” Assemblyman Angelo Morinello said.
Even though the number of tourists is still down, in the parking lot today we saw five random cars right next to each other with license plates from Texas, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Missouri so people are still coming from far and wide to see this natural wonder.