Tag Archives: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Market Buffalo By Dissing Cleveland? Brilliant!

17 Jun

Here’s what Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, the chairwoman of the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors’ Bureau (or whatever its name is now), had to say about what a rousing success and great idea “Buffalo: For Real” is:

It is not intended to be local … It is not intended to create civic pride. It is intended for a targeted market that we think has a lot of value…

…“Unlike Cleveland that really just has the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to hang its hat on, we’ve got so many other assets to build off of,” Gallagher-Cohen said.

Setting aside how conceitedly horrible the “Buffalo: For Real” introductory video was – the video that was designed specifically to define the underlying “marketing” campaign, denigrating another rust belt city seems hardly the best way to promote Buffalo.

Ask any average American if they’ve heard of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Chances are they’ll not only have heard of it, but they’ll probably also be a fan of at least one inductee.

Now ask any average American if they’ve heard of the Darwin Martin House, or the Albright-Knox. What they’ll have heard of is snow, wings, Bills, and Sabres. Maybe rust and decline, if they’re particularly well-informed.

Cleveland has 400,000 residents in its city proper. It has NBA Basketball, NFL Football, and ML Baseball – all within the downtown core. From its Wikipedia entry:

Cleveland is home to Playhouse Square Center, the second largest performing arts center in the United States behind New York’s Lincoln Center. Playhouse Square includes the StatePalaceAllenHanna, and Ohio theaters within what is known as the Theater District of Downtown Cleveland. Playhouse Square’s resident performing arts companies include Opera Cleveland and the Great Lakes Theater Festival. The center also hosts various Broadway musicals, special concerts, speaking engagements, and other events throughout the year. One Playhouse Square, now the headquarters for Cleveland’s public broadcasters, was originally used as the broadcast studios of WJW Radio, where disc jockeyAlan Freed first popularized the term “rock and roll“. Located between Playhouse Square and University Circle are the Cleveland Play House and Karamu House, a well-known African American performing and fine arts center, both founded in the 1920s. Cleveland is also home to the Cleveland Orchestra, widely considered one of the finest orchestras in the world, and often referred to as the finest in the United States. It is one of the “Big Five” major orchestras in the United States. The Orchestra plays in Severance Hall during the winter and at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls during the summer. The city is also home to the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. There are two main art museums in Cleveland. The Cleveland Museum of Art is a major American art museum, with a collection that includes more than 40,000 works of art ranging over 6,000 years, from ancient masterpieces to contemporary piecesMuseum of Contemporary Art Cleveland showcases established and emerging artists, particularly from the Cleveland area, through hosting and producing temporary exhibitions. The Gordon Square Arts District on Detroit Road, in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, features a movie theater called the Capitol Theatre and an off-off-Broadway playhouse, the Cleveland Public Theatre.

Click to enlarge

That’s just the fine art stuff. The entry for other tourism attractions includes:

…the Cleveland Botanical GardenCase Western Reserve UniversityUniversity HospitalsSeverance Hall, theCleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Western Reserve Historical Society. Cleveland is also home to the I. M. Pei-designed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located on the Lake Erie waterfront at North Coast Harbor downtown. Neighboring attractions include Cleveland Browns Stadium, the Great Lakes Science Center, the Steamship Mather Museum, and the USS Cod, a World War II submarine. Cleveland also has an attraction for visitors and fans of A Christmas StoryA Christmas Story House and Museum to see props, costumes, rooms, photos and everything referenced to a yuletide film classic from the mind of Jean Shepherd. Cleveland is home to many festivals throughout the year. Cultural festivals such as the annual Feast of the Assumption in the Little Italy neighborhood, the Harvest Festival in the Slavic Village neighborhood, and the more recent Cleveland Asian Festival in the Asia Town neighborhood are popular events. Vendors at the West Side Market in Ohio City offer many different ethnic foods for sale. Cleveland hosts an annual paradeon Saint Patrick’s Day that brings hundreds of thousands to the streets of downtown. The glass house at the Cleveland Botanical Garden recreates a Costa Rican rain forest.

Fashion Week Cleveland, the city’s annual fashion event, is one of the few internationally recognized fashion industry happenings in North America. The show is considered by many to be the best in the Midwest—perhaps second only to New York for fashion weeks in the US. In addition to the cultural festivals, Cleveland hosted the CMJ Rock Hall Music Fest, which featured national and local acts, including both established artists and up-and-coming acts, but the festival was discontinued in 2007 due to financial and manpower costs to the Rock Hall. The annual Ingenuity Fest, Notacon and TEDxCLE conference focus on the combination of art and technology. The Cleveland International Film Festival has been held annually since 1977, and it drew a record 66,476 people in March 2009. Cleveland also hosts an annual holiday display lighting and celebration, dubbed Winterfest, which is held downtown at the city’s historic hub, Public Square.

And what about that Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

  • Generates more than $107 million annually in economic impact.
  • Continues to draw hundreds of thousands of tourists to Cleveland each year; 90% of visitors to the Rock Hall come from outside of Cleveland.
  • Is the single, unique culture asset that differentiates Cleveland from other cities.
  • Has the highest attendance among halls of fame.

Try looking that information up for the Darwin Martin House.


Click to enlarge


I’m not saying Buffalo sucks.

I’m saying Cleveland doesn’t suck.

For the region’s person-in-charge-of-attracting-visitors to basically insult a city 2 hours down the 90 and fronting the same lake is just ridiculous.  Someone please put some grownups in charge of our local convention and visitors’ bureau. Please someone depoliticize it, hire professionals based on merit and stop the embarrassment.