Welcome to Buffalo-Niagara?

8 Feb


Ontario has them right off the QEW in Fort Erie and in St Catherine’s. There’s also one on the 420 not far from the Rainbow Bridge.

That’s three Provincially-run tourist centers within spitting distance of the border that offer comprehensive tourist information for every region in the Province. They even feature vending, bathrooms, and currency exchange. You can pick up a free map from, and reserve a room through, the friendly people who work there.

Yet on the New York side, there’s nothing. Nothing at the Peace Bridge. Nothing off the Rainbow Bridge. Nothing at the Q-L Bridge. Nothing on Grand Island. Nothing until you hit Angola going west on the I-90, or Pembroke going east. And by the time a visiting Canadian reaches Angola or Pembroke, the attractions in Buffalo and its immediate environs are at least 20 miles behind you in either direction.

For a region that puts so much stock in tourism, whether it be as high-minded as architecture, or as low-brow as sports, that’s shockingly poor.

10 Responses to “Welcome to Buffalo-Niagara?”

  1. Jefferson at 3:08 pm #

    I agree with you. Send this off to Steve Gunderson. It’s a missed opportunity to drum up tourism.

  2. Christopher Smith at 3:12 pm #

    Is Steve Gunderson related to ESDC Upstate Chairman Dan Gunderson in some way? Or will we be sending it to a guy who owns a bait and tackle shop in Riverside? 🙂

  3. Dan at 3:23 pm #

    Because, in the eyes of The Powers That Be, New York State tourism = New York City tourism. The Atlantic Ocean, East River and Hudson River are the grand front entrances to the state; Niagara River crossings are just the back doors.

  4. WIGS at 4:23 pm #

    BP, for the last time it is St. Catharines. 😉

    but I agree WNY has to get its act together to better promote tourism with similar tourist info. centers.

  5. Pat from Kenmore at 5:58 pm #

    If you have ever entered NY on the I-90 from PA you’ll notice that there is no welcome center. Most enterance to the other States have welcome centers that promote tourist attractions in the area. If we are serious about replacing our lost manufacturing economy with a service and tourism economy there should a welcome center as soon as you enter the NY from all major points either from Canada or PA. The tourist info both at the Angola rest stop is a joke and it over 30 miles too late. I guess the welcome center is the Thruway toll both at Ripley. Screwed by the Thruway Authority again!

  6. Mike at 8:07 pm #

    Oh how wrong you are Pat, I saw Niagara Falls welcome centers when entering New york state off the I-90. But all our welcome centers are run by the private sector (the way hank likes them), which means you better hang on to your wallets when entering. These are run by the people who steal signs pointing the way to Niagara Falls, just so it can draw in suckers it can rip-off, but like hank says its the american way. I would be socialism to have the state run an information booth we cant have that and our taxes are soo high already. Hank, maybe you should be testing that well water you drink.

  7. FancyWow at 8:22 am #

    I’m gonna have to disagree with this one, and for someone who blogs and “twitter”s, I would think you would to.

    If you cross on your way to points south (Florida), you have little need to stop. If you are planning on visiting WNY/Niagara Frontier/Buffalo, you would have already downloaded your maps, you already know the way, or you have GPS. I’ve never pulled off the highway b/c I saw one of these, crossing borders or otherwise.

    I think the problem is there is an information gap. Do Canadians realize that there are locations that sell things they want not called WaldenGalleria? Instead of taking a broad based tour with the Midnight Saturday TV host, what about a “high end shopping in the village / on the strip” and do a day trip with specific stops in Elmwood, Williamsville, whereever, that targets a specific audience and exposes specific commodities. I have to imagine that if our Old Navy prices are better with the exchange rate, than our Gucci and 7’s prices are too. Have we told the “Finger Lakes Wine, Letchworth, Architecture, value, quaint, ellicotville, etc.” story well enough? A concrete bldg with brochures won’t necessarily do that well either.

    If you do want to build – build a small, visually audacious visitor center near the foot of the 190 or 33 in downtown, so that folks that are already planning to come here can pick up some info and get turned on to more things in the region

  8. Jefferson at 10:56 am #

    Yea, I guess I meant Dan. Not very good with names recently. Humor me please.


  1. Western New York Blog Carnival - February 25, 2008 | Buffalo Niagara Falls Real Estate & Home Sales -

    […] Buffalo Pundit Welcome to Buffalo-Niagara? posted at Buffalo Pundit. Brings up a very good point, if we don’t promote tourism in the area where it is needed who will? […]

  2. Buffalo Pundit » Blog Archive » 2008. It was a year. -

    […] which offers the most direct highway-to-highway crossing in Western New York. And would it kill them to put up a welcome center on the New York side, for Christ’s […]

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