Nik Wallenda points to the crowd of onlookers as he near completion of his 1,800 feet-long tightrope walk over the brink of the Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls, Ont., on Friday, June 15, 2012. Wallenda battled brisk winds and thick mist Friday to make history, becoming the first person to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Aaron Vincent Elkaim)
Niagara Falls Moves Forward After Wallenda Walk
Niagara Falls, NY (WBEN) As Nik Wallenda walked into history, Niagara Falls is taking steps after the historic high wire event to capitalize on the international attention.
Mayor Paul Dyster says the walk itself was an all around success. "Both the operational plans to get all the people in town situated, and get people on their way out in a reasonable time worked out well," says Dyster, "The walk was obviously a success. You couldn't ask for anything more."
Dyster says the cleanup had begun shortly after the walk. "Less than 24 hours after the walk, all the cables had been removed, and Nik Wallenda was picking up gum wrappers making sure there was no ecological damage. That was a telling moment to me," says Dyster. "There was all this controversy about lifting regulations on stunting and envrionmental concerns. In the end, Nik Wallenda was the biggest environmentalist of all."
Dyster says the cataract city will be looking at how to capitalize on all the attention it got from the event. "We had students from Niagara University researching crowds. We want to figure out where people were watching," explains Dyster. He also wants to market to those who watched on TV around the world. "Wherever the walk got high ratings, those people obviously will be interested in coming to Niagara Falls, maybe not this summer, but soon."
He'll also be talking with those hesitating about economic development in the city, to see if the Wallenda Walk has changed their minds about starting to dig in.