Niagara Falls, NY — USA Niagara Development Corp, an arm of Empire State Development, approved a five-year contract with Destination Niagara USA to manage the Niagara Falls Convention Center, which started in January of 2022. As the lead tourism promotion agency for Niagara County, Destination Niagara USA seized the opportunity to increase sales and leverage existing strengths with their team and community partners.
One of the first orders of business through this change of management was to update the name of the facility from the Conference & Event Center to the Niagara Falls Convention Center, a move based on insight from meeting planners who suggested the new title reflects an ability to host a greater variety and larger scale events. Additionally, the Niagara Falls Convention Center underwent rebranding to integrate the product under the Destination Niagara USA umbrella.
While there were many visible changes throughout the year, Destination Niagara USA was also busy behind the scenes to ensure the transition was a success. “Assuming management of the Niagara Falls Convention Center aligned with the mission of Destination Niagara USA to expand the economic prosperity of Niagara Falls, and directing resources towards increasing the convention and meetings business to support this endeavor has been successful," says John Percy, President and CEO of Destination Niagara USA.
In 2022, the Niagara Falls Convention Center hosted 82 events, attracting 43,349 attendees, with year-end revenue of more than $3 million. According to Jason Murgia, General Manager of the Niagara Falls Convention Center, 2022 was the first year the building operated in the black since opening in 2004. “It is apparent that having a local management company invested in the success of this building and the destination has been an effective tool in the growth of business here and in the surrounding area,” says Murgia. The estimated economic impact of the events held at the Niagara Falls Convention Center in 2022 was more than $12 million.
As for the future of the Niagara Falls Convention Center, plans include growing business in the convention market. According to John Percy, “The convention market produces the highest amount of economic impact for the downtown corridor and Niagara County. We are starting off 2023 with $287,000 more in definite business than what we had at the same time last year.”
Destination Niagara USA works to ensure Niagara County is a preferred international destination for group and leisure travel. It supports its mission to expand the economic prosperity of Niagara County by generating individual and group visitation. For more information, visit NiagaraFallsUSA.com.