Niagara Falls at a Glance
Location: Western New York
Access: Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Major Meeting Spaces: Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls, Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, DoubleTree by Hilton Niagara Falls, Sheraton Niagara Falls, Hyatt Place Niagara Falls
Hotel Rooms: 2,457 rooms in downtown convention district
Off-Site Venues: Top of the Falls Restaurant, Aquarium of Niagara, Old Fort Niagara, Freedom Run Winery, Niagara Power Vista
Destination Niagara USA
Whether it’s your first visit or your 10th, encountering Niagara Falls is enough to steal your breath away, to make your mouth hang open as if unhinged.
Nature is unleashed there, becoming a roaring, primal thing, beautiful and awe-inspiring. And so, like the Grand Canyon, or the redwoods in California, Niagara Falls is capable of producing the kind of wonder not often experienced after childhood. That’s the gift of the water, which is almost unimaginably massive and fast. More than 3,100 tons blasts over the falls every second, plunging 32 feet in the time it takes to snap your fingers.
According to Lindsey Bowman, Destination Niagara USA’s director of convention and meeting sales, the 400-acre Niagara Falls State Park, which was the first state park established in the country, is the perfect place to experience the power and majesty of all that water. Attractions include the iconic Maid of the Mist boat ride, which has hosted everyone from former President Jimmy Carter to Princess Diana.
“They’re getting new, catamaran-style boats this year,” Bowman said. “They’ll be 100% battery-powered, so we’re really excited about that.”
But the legendary cascades aren’t all that make Niagara Falls USA a compelling choice for a meeting.
“We’re located close to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, so we’re very accessible,” Bowman said. “We’re also an extremely walkable destination. The Conference and Events Center at Niagara Falls is our main meeting facility, and all the major hotels are within a three-block radius around it. Niagara Falls is located right there, too, so after your meetings, you’re less than a 10-minute walk to the state park.”
Tucked away in western New York, Niagara Falls’ population hovers around 50,000. It’s a small city but a huge tourism draw, with 8 million people visiting the state park annually. More than 400 years after French explorer Father Louis Hennepin discovered Niagara Falls, it remains as powerfully alluring as ever to visitors.
Located between Niagara Falls State Park and Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino on the bustling Old Falls Street, USA, the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls offers 116,000 square feet of space. That includes 15 meeting rooms; two ballrooms that together can hold 1,500 for receptions; the Chairman’s Room, a boardroom with a 14-person capacity; and the Governor’s Room, a tiered amphitheater that can seat 49.
The Conference and Event Center also boasts space for outdoor events, banquet services that feature all-day meeting packages and audiovisual capabilities like video/web conferencing and data projection.
Major Meeting Hotels
Niagara Falls does not want for meeting-friendly hotels. Among them are DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Niagara Falls New York, which offers 192 rooms, 16,000 square feet of meeting space and a beautiful riverside location. The Hyatt Place Niagara Falls, with 128 rooms and about 8,000 square feet of meeting space, is a great option for smaller conferences.
The Sheraton Niagara Falls, which sits adjacent to the conference center, features 392 guest rooms, including 26 suites. In addition, said Taylor Combs, American Niagara Hospitality’s director of sales, “We have about 11,000 square feet of meeting space: We have one main ballroom, a couple smaller breakout rooms and a huge prefunction area.”
Not only are there myriad ways to experience the falls, there are plenty of other goodies to explore in the area, like Aquarium of Niagara, home to 1,500 aquatic animals. And Old Fort Niagara, built by the French in 1726, offers fun events like musket and cannon demonstrations.
For attendees who want to get close to the falls, Niagara Falls State Park provides incredible vantage points such as Cave of the Winds, where you can go behind the falls. In general, said Angela Berti, park spokesperson, “The park’s a perfect place for conference attendees to unwind at the end of their day, or start the day with a run or walk at one of the most magnificent places on earth.”
CVB Special Services
Bowman and her team at Destination Niagara Falls USA go the extra mile — or 10 — to lend a hand to meeting planners. They can host customized site visits and help with welcome materials, including information tables with a volunteer greeter and welcome bags and signs. The team is also happy to create customized itineraries to help attendees have the time of their lives in off hours. “If you book 150-plus peak rooms, we offer an incentive,” Bowman said. “We have a whole criteria, but you can earn up to $6 per room per night.”