We might take chicken wings for granted around here, not thinking of them as an economic engines. But they are hot when it comes to tourism. The National Buffalo Wing Festival has attracted more than 500,000 people in the past decade including visitors from every state in the U.S. Last year, 34 different countries were represented. Much of that is thanks to international publicity on the Food Network and Travel Channel. Founder Drew Cerza says Visit Buffalo Niagara gets phone calls with visitors looking to book trips and attend the festival after the programs air. He says attracting nationwide restaurants is easy. This year, restaurants are coming to Buffalo from as far away as Oregon, Seattle, New Orleans and Texas.
Local tourism got another boost yesterday this week when city officials announced plans for HARBORCenter. The Buffalo Sabres and owner Terry Pegula will develop the Webster Block with dual ice rinks and more. By mid-2015, it is expected to attract more than 500,000 people annually. Business First says hockey and swimming are the top two draws for amateur sports bookings in Buffalo.
So expect to see more hockey tournaments coming to Buffalo in the future.
You can read more in Business First.