It seems like every day, The News carries a story regarding how tourism or some form of leisure pursuit is going to magically pull this area out of its financial decay.
Given our area's proximity to Toronto and the refurbished Cleveland, the wonderful shorelines of Cape Cod, the sandy beaches of the Carolinas, not to mention Caribbean getaways, I've got to ask: What gives people the illusion that tourists are going to flock to Western New York? Further, what makes anyone think that jobs associated with the tourism industry are well paying or long term?
Our leaders need to look long and hard at what's needed to bring viable, income-generating employment into this area. Two companies whose names come to mind are Astronics Corp. and Wilson Greatbatch. These companies are growing and long term, yet for every one Astronics or Greatbatch that stays, three decide to put down roots elsewhere because we can't offer low-cost electricity or tax incentives.
Meanwhile, city and county leaders flounce about trying to attract another brew club, restaurant or casino to an area that can barely support the fast-food chains and cut-rate theaters it now has. We either need to get our current leaders to ask the right questions and look for long-term answers, or get new leaders who will.