Tag: publicity stunt

    Niagara Falls is walking its own wire

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    From the Buffalo News:

    The Niagara Falls publicity stunt was born like this: It was September 1827.A group of hoteliers wanted to make a quick buck. So they sent an old lake schooner, filled with terrified animals, over the brink. The spectacle, as planned, drew thousands. Many of the animals died in the plunge.

    It’s 184 years later, and we’re still grasping at ghoulish curiosities at Niagara.

    Famed wire walker Nik Wallenda wants to cross the Horseshoe Falls on his tightrope, and debate over the planned escapade has dominated discussion on both sides of the famous falls for months.

    The stunt, already given the go-ahead by Albany, now hinges on a decision by the Canadians. But whether Wallenda walks or not is beside the point.

    Debate over the high-wire act is a distraction to the real problems that plague Niagara Falls. Blight, unemployment and a worn-out reputation for hucksterism overshadow a natural wonder that is still unique to the world.

    Caution needed at the falls

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    From the Buffalo News:

    This newspaper is not in favor of stunts that put both the daredevil and rescuers in danger. So we hope that the governor and State Legislature thought it through thoroughly before giving the green light to Nik Wallenda’s plan to walk a wire across Niagara Falls.

    The legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. George D. Maziarz of Newfane directs the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to allow Wallenda to anchor one end of his wire on Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park. He still needs Canadian approval for the other end of the wire.

    While Wallenda may have the “unconditional support” of Niagara Falls, Ont., Mayor Jim Diodati and Ontario Parliament member Kim Craitor, he still needs the approval of the Niagara Parks Commission.

    The argument for allowing this stunt is simple: It would boost tourism to the falls. The stunt itself would draw thou-sands to the falls, and news coverage of the event would provide free publicity around the world.

    Wallenda proposes to be a a modern-day version of the “Great Blondin” a century and a half after that daredevil’s tightrope walks across the gorge. In this age of 24-hour news channels and viral YouTube videos, the images would be projected worldwide.

    In addition, Wallenda’s inevitable tour of the morning and late-night talk shows would add to the hype.

    The arguments against Wallenda are many, starting with the question of whether such a publicity stunt diminishes the grandeur of one of the wonders of the world.

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