Visitors center takes off at Buffalo Niagara airport

November 21, 2012 Updated Nov 21, 2012 at 8:16 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

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November 21, 2012 Updated Nov 21, 2012 at 8:16 AM EDT

In time for the Thanksgiving weekend, Visit Buffalo Niagara has officially opened its newest visitor center in the main concourse of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

The visitor center, which was announced this past spring and opened on July 9, has proven to be a very busy place. The center is located just opposite the Anchor Bar location in the airport's busy east concourse. The concourse has gates for such airlines as Southwest and JetBlue, two of the busiest commercial carriers at the airport.

Visit Buffalo Niagara designed the center to showcase the region's attractions and also offers a wide array of unique Buffalo products. Visit Buffalo Niagara staffs an information desk and also runs videos highlight various attractions and landmarks.

"This new visitor center positions Visit Buffalo Niagara to share the story of our region's world class attractions, dining and accommodations to the 5 million passengers who fly in and out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport each year," said Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, Visit Buffalo Niagara president and CEO.

Approximately 40 percent of those who fly out of the airport come from Southern Ontario and many stay overnight to catch their flights.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to strengthen our brand, especially among the large number of Canadians who use the airport," Gallagher-Cohen said.

First Niagara Bank donated $100,000 to help defray the costs of developing the center. The Wendt Foundation underwrote a technology grant while BHNT Architects and LP Ciminelli contributed their services for the build out.

Between its opening on July 9 and Oct. 31, the center attracted 25,333 people through its doors. By comparison, Visit Buffalo Niagara's center in downtown Buffalo's Market Arcade attracted 11,166 visitors in all of last year.

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