This week, travelers from across the globe are braving the cold to see a partially-frozen Niagara Falls draped in an ethereal layer of ice and snow. The popular tourist destination is well-known for its extreme displays of natural beauty, which could make it an ideal setting for a different type of attraction in the former One Niagara Building.
Earlier this week at a meeting of the Niagara River Greenway Commission, former Niagara County Industrial Development Agency director John Simon pitched a plan to build a World Weather Center in the distinctive cube-shaped building which would offer guests an opportunity to enjoy a variety of “multi-sensory weather-related exhibits and experiences.”
Simon and his fellow organizers proposed the same idea to the Niagara Falls City Council in 2017, where they described a “Disney-quality” attraction that includes entertaining, educational exhibits focused on weather and climate science. In a recent interview with the Niagara Gazette, Simon remarked that “it’s safe to say there’s nothing like it in North America.”
The World Weather Center project would reportedly cost roughly $138 million to complete, but its organizers argue that it would also create jobs and generate several million dollars in tourism revenue in just a few years. The next step, according to Simon, will be to meet with the Empire State Development Corp. and seek state funding to help finance the project.
If the weather center becomes a reality, we could have yet another world-class travel destination to enjoy just a few miles down the road from our cozy community at Town Hall Terrace.