Niagara Falls, being one of the Seven Natural Wonder of the World, is a tourist destination for people from all walks of life. With it being between two densely populated areas, it can be hard to imagine that this destination is not bringing any amount of money for the surrounding cities. I lived in Niagara Falls, New York until the age of three, and to this day I still have lingering memories. The clouds would cover the sun’s rays day after day, feeling gloomy as the coldest breeze would graze my skin. I could smell smoke from factories out in the distance that would engulf my nostrils as I breathe in. The roads of Vanderbilt Avenue were rugged, broken and angry like the people of Niagara Falls. The more I return home from time to time, there is always this temptation of people wanting better for the city. People can only hope, but the situations that have elapsed over time have only put the city deeper in the hole.
I can remember getting off the plane, waiting for my aunt to pick me up from the airport while the weather had been extremely cold. As she would drive me to my grandparent’s home, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of liveliness, as well as the lack of production. For a city that brings in millions of tourists per year, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, is the worst the city has to offer, a place of drugs and crime and boarded up brick houses”. The lack of development circulating through the city is also due to the non-conservative usage of revenue. For instance, Casino Niagara, a casino built in Niagara Falls, opened in 1996. There is this supposed law that casino [revenue] must be spent for economic development”. Parlato then goes on to say that “With more than $150 million of casino money already spent, the city has little to show for it in the line of economic development”. From what I have seen in the last five years of visiting the city, I can understand why certain people feel the need to move into a better situation, which is exactly what my parents did, inevitably for our sake.
The local government in Niagara Falls can better the city’s conditions, but the loss in federal funding has brought upon more problems, which, as state earlier, have put them deeper in the hole. It’s almost as if they have given up, while the people in the city still have hope, having city hall meetings about the same conflicts. According to a 2010 census, has lost more than half of its population since the 1950s. It has become less flourishing, while “one-fifth of its fifty thousand residents live below the poverty line”. People have left for the sole purpose of having a better life for themselves. There is almost no opportunity or investment, household income has dropped below average while the unemployment rate has increase for the past decade. The influx of currency is an issue and is the underlying cause of the city’s situation.
Many have realized that someone has to step up to put Niagara Falls back on the map. Service has to be done within the city first, whether it be renovating the abandoned parts of the city or modernizing the city’s appearance. In many cases, it begins with those who are in higher positions. Investors could be attracted to this renovation, allowing these people to make decisions that will increase population and economic development in Niagara Falls.
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