Newly Renovated Power
Vista Reopens as Niagara Falls Tourist Attraction
August 28, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEWISTONJoseph J. Seymour, chairman and chief executive officer of the New York
Power Authority, Tuesday officially reopened the newly renovated
Power Vista, one of
Niagara Falls' premier tourist attractions.
"This new and improved Power Vista is a world-class facility that will give a
significant boost to the Niagara Frontier tourism industry and demonstrates Governor
Pataki's strong commitment to Western New York," said Seymour. "Building on over
75,000 area jobs created and protected with low-cost Power Authority electricity, the
impact of the Power Vista, along with initiatives such as the USA Niagara Development
Corp. and the Seneca Casino plan, will continue to spur economic growth in Western New
Michael Wilton, president of USA Niagara Development Corp., said, "In line with
Governor Patakis vision to revitalize Western New Yorks economy, the Power
Authority has spectacularly updated the Power Vista to serve, even more dynamically, as
one of the Niagara Frontier's leading educational and tourism attractions."
State Senator George D. Maziarz said, "The reopening of the Power Vista is most
welcome news as it signals the resurgence of our area visitor attractions. The new and
improved Power Vista will provide exciting interactive educational opportunities that will
contribute significantly to the overall visitor experience in the Niagara region."
Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte said, "The Power Vista has always been a popular
attraction for tourists and residents alike. The enhancements made are visually exciting
and will offer visitors a greater educational and entertaining experience."
The Power Vista, the visitors center for the Power Authority's
Niagara Power Project, was closed in September 1998 to
begin this $2.3 million renovation. Over 50 brand new interactive exhibits focusing on
energy and local history were designed, fabricated and installed, in addition to the
modernization of several long-time, crowd-pleasing exhibits. Over 6 million visitors have
come to the Power Vista since it opened in 1963, shortly after the completion of the
Niagara Power Project. In recent years, annual visitation has been over 140,000 and is
expected to grow to over 200,000 in coming years due to this renovation.
Visitors enter the glass and marble Power Vista and proceed across a dramatic
glass-enclosed corridor, suspended over the Robert Moses Parkway, filled with
three-dimensional, large format photographs of the Niagara Project construction. The
Niagara Project is the largest hydroelectric-generating facility in New York State and on
any given day provides one-seventh of the States power needs.
Visitors can step into a humansize, camera box to view a 42" video panel
showing, in real time, actual views of the Niagara River, the Gorge and area surrounding
the Niagara Project. The panel can be adjusted to zoom in and out on this spectacular view
so visitors can get up close and personal with the outside environs no matter what the
Now visitors are ready to enter the "Electric Lab" filled with many exciting
exhibits on the basics of electricity including descriptions of AC and DC currents,
conductors, transistors and much more.
Next comes the large scale terrain mapa favorite of visitors of all
ageswhich has been updated with fiber optic lighting to give a geographic overview
of the Niagara Project operations including the Robert Moses Power Plant and the Lewiston
Pump Generating Plant.
Enter the life-like Victorian-style home where adults and children alike will learn
tips on energy efficiency, conservation and safety with age-appropriate exhibits, many of
which are hands-on.
The traveling by electricity exhibit is where visitors learn more about
electric vehicles. The electric RAV4 is cut in half, right
down the middle, and outfitted with "chase lights," pathways of lights operated
by push buttons, to explain the interior and exterior operations of electric vehicles.
The future of electricity is described in exhibits on
power and fuel cells.
Another series of exhibits chronicles several of the wide variety of Power Authority
customers. A DVD video and several audio-tapes bring these businesses to life for
Visitors again experience the beauty of the Niagara River and Gorge, and the monumental
presence of power plants on both sides of the river, from the stunning, outdoor
Observation Deck located 350 feet up from river level.
As visitors now proceed down the escalator to the Lower Level, theyll see the
beautifully restored mural of Father Louis Hennepins visit to the Falls in 1678. The
mural, by famed American artist Thomas Hart Benton, was commissioned by the Power
Authority upon completion of the Niagara Project.
The next exhibit area highlights, through DVD video and visually-dynamic information
displays, the local history and the development of the power industry in the Niagara area.
This gallery is named the Cliff Spieler Niagara History Gallery in memory of the long-time
Power Authority Vice President of Public Affairs who also served with distinction in a
variety of newsroom roles at the Niagara Falls Gazette.
"From Niagara Falls and the Niagara Reservation to Fort Niagara, the Niagara
Frontier is filled with many outstanding natural, historic and cultural sites, and
todays reopening of the Power Vista returnsin a new and improved
stylethis popular destination to that prestigious list," said Wilton.
The Power Vista is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with some holiday
closings. Admission is free and the facility is handicapped-accessible. There are vending
machines and areas with tables and chairs set aside for visitor convenience. For further
information and all group tour bookings, please call 716-286-6661.