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Process

The Foundation

The NEC Team reviewed a number of past planning documents relevant to the Project, including:

  • 2005 Niagara National Heritage Area Study
  • 2005 Buffalo Niagara Cultural Tourism Initiative
  • 2004 Niagara Falls Strategic Master Plan
  • 2002 Revealing Niagara Report
  • 2002 Achieving Niagara Falls Future Strategy
  • 2001 Rethinking the Niagara Frontier: A Report on the Continuing Bi-national Forum
  • 1997 Citizens Visions for Niagara Falls Report
  • 1992 Niagara Waterfront Master Plan

Vision Phase

Throughout the city’s history, the goal of establishing a single place where visitors could discover the multifaceted story and natural wonders of Niagara Falls has consistently surfaced as a widespread community objective. This idea took a significant leap forward in 2004, as the USA Niagara Development Corporation led a team of planners, historians, economists, government representatives and designers in a Vision Phase that resulted in a solid conceptual vision for the Project.

Master Planning Phase

This vision moved another step closer to reality during a 2005-2006 Master Planning Phase, involving an in-depth study of the economics of the Project, its location and its relationship to the city and larger bi-national region. This work resulted in a preliminary Master Plan for the NEC and Niagara Falls Heritage Park.

The Master Planning Phase commenced with a series of Listening Sessions that enabled key stakeholders and community leaders to express their desires, ideas and concerns regarding the NEC Project. Groups and interests involved include:

  • City of Niagara Falls, New York
  • Niagara County, New York
  • Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
  • New York State Department of Transportation
  • New York Power Authority
  • New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
  • Niagara River Greenway Commission
  • Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
  • Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper
  • Other local environmental and heritage tourism stakeholders
  • Key local property stakeholders
  • Niagara Falls historians
  • Local tour operators
  • Local/private attraction owners and operators
  • Representatives from local universities

Niagara Experience Center, Inc.

The NEC was formed in 2004 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. The Board of Directors consists of cultural, educational and civic leaders from the regional community.

The Team

The Vision and Master Planning Phases were carried out by Niagara Experience Center, Inc. and USA Development Corporation, in collaboration with: