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Will Buffalo's Canalside & Outer Harbor lose their individual identities?

New marketing effort causes confusion about the two popular Buffalo areas
Posted at 6:41 PM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 18:41:20-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — What was meant as a way to generate excitement for a new marketing/branding effort focused on Buffalo's waterfront caused confusion as some thought Canalside and the Outer Harbor might be renamed.

It started when Canalside Buffalo sent this message on Twitter:
"Starting in May, we’re bringing the Outer Harbor and Canalside together as the Buffalo Waterfront. It’s all the fun you’ve come to know and love under one roof. You’ll be able to find us on all social by searching Buffalo Waterfront. More details to come!"

Visit Buffalo Niagara had just recently printed new visitor guides with references to Canalside when the message went through social media.

"It gave me a little pause. At first, I thought we were going to have to redo some of the listings on our website," explained Patrick Kaler, president of Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Both Canalside and the Outer Harbor have become a huge success drawing big crowds for special events, even as construction continues on new additions such as a children's museum and mountain bike course.

There was so much concern in what the message meant, that the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) held a press conference to clear things up.

"Canalside is not going away," said Steve Ranalli, ECHDC president.

Ranalli explained that a new one-stop website called www.buffalowaterfront.com was launching this week and it would be an "umbrella website" for Canalside, the Outer Harbor and other future projects along Buffalo's waterfront.

So many things are happening at both locations that it was feared, said Ranalli, that people searching the internet using just the individual names would miss information/activities for the other site.

The new website is scheduled to go online May 1st.

It will still include separate parts for both Canalside and the Outer Harbor within the Buffalo Waterfront web page.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly has more in the attached report.