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Visit Buffalo Niagara draws in event planners

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Posted at 4:59 PM, Jul 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 17:37:49-04

More than two dozen event planners were in Buffalo on Thursday playing an "Amazing Race" inspired game to learn more about Buffalo.

"This is actually the largest tour that we've ever hosted," said Patrick Kaler the president and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara. "They're doing an "Amazing Race" type activity because they don't know the new Buffalo."

Visit Buffalo Niagara is the organization responsible for selling the Queen City.

Kaler said the group aims to "bring in tourism through meetings and conventions," and also through sporting events.

"The locations that we look for are cities where there's something to do," said Julie Navarro a meeting planner from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Navarro was in Buffalo before back in 2014 but now she's impressed by waterfront, business and people.

"When I got the invitation, I'm like Buffalo, really," said Navarro. "I went keeping an open mind and I'm back here now with a client who's bringing an event here next year."

"Last year we booked 171 different groups so we're talking about different pieces of business that will come between 2016 to maybe 2020," said Kaler. "That has an economic impact of $174 million dollars."

Other stops on Thursday's race included the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Anchor Bar, Tim Horton's and Canalside.