Without a sound economic foundation, grounded in real-world assumptions, the Master Planning Phase for the Niagara Experience Center and Niagara Falls Heritage Park would yield nothing more than another unrealized plan for development. Thus, this effort included a thorough assessment of the feasibility of the Project, undertaken by Economic Research Associates, Inc. (ERA).
ERA conducted an analysis of local and comparable attractions in other cities and developed very reasonable projections of typical attendance and spending characteristics for the Project. These were compared with projected operating costs to determine the feasibility of the Project. The analysis concluded that the NEC and Niagara Falls Heritage Park are feasible and a wise public investment to foster significant private development.
The report indicates the following:
- The NEC can be self-sustaining after its completion, without the need for annual operating subsidies from the public sector.
- During construction of the Project, over 3,400 direct and indirect jobs could be created with a total regional economic impact of over $500 million.
- The development would have a total positive fiscal impact of roughly $15 million per year.
- The Project would yield $1.6 million in net new property taxes per year from the Niagara Falls Heritage Park development, after factoring the loss of taxes from parcels currently comprising the site area.
- During operation of the NEC/Heritage Park, over 1,000 permanent jobs would be created with a direct economic impact of over $80 million per year and total regional economic impact of over $1.5 billion over a ten-year period.