How will this
help Grand Island community?
First of all, no
one knows our story. People need to know our story. There have two types of
businesses that have visited me: apartment complexes and tourism activities.
We need to celebrate something that is a natural fit. One is low-impact tourism. Or make Grand Island a dumping ground. We are turning to a green, family-friendly, eco- friendly, recreation-friendly future for Grand Island.
How much money
will this project cost?
This will be a five to 10 million dollar operation, not including any roadwork. This is a big deal. It is going to be gorgeous.
Is there a concept or a theme to this Welcome Center?
It is the Taste
of New York Welcome Center. It may change because the state is cooperating with the Greenway Commission, who would like to have a piece of the title. This will be a building of stature. We are the host community for the visitors
center for five counties.
This is going to be virtual museum, with artifacts from historical moments in Grand Island and Western New York history.
The state is working
with a team of historians on Western New York history. They will research Grand Island history. They will put as much as possible in this
thing. The design is based on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.
You mentioned that you had visited the Welcome Center in Long Island. What were your impressions?
It has a digital map and selfie wall. There is a touch map for things to see and to visit. There’s a huge digital screen with images of Long Island. They have an I love NY shop, where they sell local farming
products, like honey. Playground is decorated around a whale theme.
What will our theme be and what will the welcome center look like?
Our theme may be buffaloes. The centers will be built around a theme that represents the local community. You will have outdoor
seating, warm and friendly environment. We will have a walk of fame, honoring outstanding Western New Yorkers, such as Tim Russert and Lucille Ball. The state is looking for a theme. The state is in a listening mode, as they reach out to the other four counties (Niagara, Genesee, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua). Erie County is fully invested.