I want everyone to know… I am officially falling over Niagara Falls and you should too. Don’t worry, not literally. Previously known as the Honeymoon hot spot, this breathtaking 12,000-year-old wonder is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state of New York.
Did You Know…
Niagara Falls has a shuttle? I certainly did not! For decades, tourism transportation has been a major challenge in the Niagara Falls region. Last year, the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area developed the Discover Niagara Shuttle to address this challenge. The Discover Niagara Shuttle is hop-on-hop-off shuttle for visitors and locals that operates between Niagara Falls and Youngston, stopping and picking up at heritage area destinations.
During its first year, the Discover Niagara Shuttle carried over 33,000 riders to fourteen popular destinations and the number of riders continued to grow weekly after its implementation.
Projects Can Be Artsy Too
This year, I wrote and submitted a grant application to New York State aiming to incorporate benches and bike racks at each of the 14+ stops along the Discover Niagara Shuttle route for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Incorporated is a public art initiative that includes the design, fabrication, and installation of these amenities, in which the unique design reflects the history and landscape of the National Heritage Area or the immediate location of the shuttle stop for over 8 million annual visitors to experience.
A unique example is a bench design that allows visitors to experience the story of the daredevils of Niagara Falls while waiting to board the shuttle at Oakwood Cemetery, where the most famous daredevils are buried. This may be the start of a Heritage Art Trail that will extend throughout the Heritage Area.
Why Writing Grants Makes Me Happy
Two words: public benefit. I immerse myself in the grant writing field because I witness the direct impact that funded projects have on a community. Projects such as the Discover Niagara Shuttle transform from an opportunity to an implemented solution that benefits thousands of people in all different ways. This project alone supports the following in the Niagara region:
Those living in poverty. As an affordable transportation service openly accessible to the public, people living in poverty in the Niagara region are now connected to various sites of current or potential employment and recreation.
Local businesses. As the Shuttle program is helping local businesses, these businesses are providing financial and marketing support to the Shuttle, working to bring the program more resources and attention.
Surrounding towns. The Discover Niagara Shuttle has had a large impact on visitation for Old Fort Niagara, and is estimated to have boosted ticket sales to the Fort by $45,000 in the Shuttle’s first season.
Local hospitality industries. Stakeholders cited that local hotels are also realizing the positive effects of the Shuttle, as visitors are choosing to spend extra nights at hotels due to expanded tourism opportunities.
Click here for Discover Niagara Shuttle Website