Buffalo Expands Ties with Ontario

October 4, 2012 Updated Oct 4, 2012 at 8:34 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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October 4, 2012 Updated Oct 4, 2012 at 8:34 AM EDT

Is Buffalo losing convention business to Ontario? A report in this week's Business First says no. The ScotiaBank Convention Centre opened in 2011 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, only 30 miles from the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. But instead of competing with Buffalo, they view Buffalo as an asset, thanks to the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, shopping and more, which they use as marketing tools.

Those tourism attractions are also helping to boost cross border opportunities with Toronto. A report in this week's Business First shows how the Toronto marketplace has grown in our direction. 40% of outbound passengers at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and 80% in the Falls, are from Southern Ontario. The numbers are just as high at area malls.

The Buffalo Bisons are now a Toronto Blue Jays Triple-AA affiliate, which makes sense since they play just 99 miles apart. Bob Rich Jr. tells Business First it's about more than sports, since "a good part Bf buffalo's economic fortunes are tied to Southern Ontario." The Southern Ontario marketplace has more than 9 million residents, compared to slightly less than 1 million in Erie and Niagara Counties.

You can read more in this week's Business First.

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