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Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board gets connected to the city

NIAGARA FALLS – The Tourism Advisory Board threatened to disband in March after members complained their ideas to improve tourism were being ignored by city leaders.

This week, Mayor Paul A. Dyster made an effort to rectify the disconnect by temporarily appointing Thomas Tedesco to the board.

Tedesco, who has been an employee of the city’s Department of Economic Development since 1994, was appointed to serve as a liaison between the TAB and the city. It remains to be seen if this will solve the problem of the deaf ear the board complained of back in March.

Lisa Vitello, TAB chairman, said in March that they had been meeting every two weeks and gave all kinds of suggestions to the City Council and mayor, but “nothing is happening.” Board members agreed that the city’s website was “horrifying” and noted that a request to update the site was made two years ago. The board also had lobbied the city to appoint a tourism director in those past two years.

Vitello said in March that businesses have nowhere to go with their concerns without a tourism director. They requested that the hotel bed tax be used to fund this position.

After the appointment of Tedesco was announced on Tuesday, Vitello, in a written statement said, “Having a designated liaison will be very beneficial to both our boards and the city as a whole. We have long needed someone to be able to coordinate activities between the city and tourism-based businesses.”

Tedesco will be responsible for working with the city, the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation, and tourism orientated businesses. His role will be similar to a tourism director and also addresses the website. Tedesco will keep a master calendar of events in the city that is accessible to the public via the city and the NTCC’s website.

As a liaison to both boards, he will also update the city administration and the TAB.

Rather than disband the TAB, the board decided to meeting monthly, rather than bi-monthly. Their next meeting is at 5 p.m., Aug. 15 in City Council Chambers, 745 Main St.

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