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For Immediate Release:
November 1, 2016

Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | pamm.lent@esd.ny.gov | (716) 846-8309 | (800) 260-7313
Laura Magee (ECHDC) | laura.magee@esd.ny.gov | (716) 846-8239 | (800) 260-7313

Canalside Recognized by Society of American Travel Writers
Buffalo Waterfront Collects Prestigious Phoenix Award

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) today announced that the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) has awarded Canalside with its 2016 Phoenix Award, which recognizes individuals, communities or organizations that have contributed to a quality travel experience through conservation, preservation, beautification or environmental efforts. Canalside, along with the Bruce Trail Conservancy in Ontario, Canada, was named an awardee at SATW’s annual core convention that took place in Wenzhou, China on October 24 to 29.

“This international recognition is a tribute to the dedication and hard work of the staff and board at ECHDC that believed from day one that once the area was reclaimed, we could transform it into one of America’s brightest historical and recreational treasures,” said Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia. “We continue to work hard every day drive progress along Buffalo’s waterfront and deliver on Governor Cuomo’s promise of creating a world-class waterfront for the people of Buffalo. We have created new opportunities and public activities where there were none. I thank the Society of American Travel Writers for this award as it validates our efforts at Canalside and will provide immeasurable attention to Buffalo’s amazing waterfront.”

“SATW is the premiere organization representing the highest professional standards in travel communication and photography,” said SATW President Paul Lasley. “Our members’ work appears in the top outlets around the world. Our Phoenix awards provide recognition to those who have demonstrated exemplary work to preserve and enhance travel destinations.”

Nominations were considered by the SATW Phoenix Committee and submitted with recommendations to the Board of Directors for final approval. Canalside was nominated for the award by Deborah Williams, an award-winning travel writer and photographer who lives outside East Aurora and is a member of the travel writers’ society. The nomination included questions regarding the project and its relationship to tourism, contributions to the preservation/conservation/beautification of the travel area, community involvement, impact on the local community and challenges or obstacles to meet the objectives of the project.

SATW has recognized tourism conservation projects through the Phoenix Awards since 1969. This marks the second Phoenix Award for a Buffalo attraction. Previously the Darwin Martin House was a recipient. Some of the other previous winners of this prestigious award include:

  • Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Wilderness Lodges
  • Restoration of Edison & Ford Winter Estates (FL)
  • Glenfern Sanctuary in New Zealand
  • Tourism Cares for America
  • USAID’s Nyungwe Nziza Project in Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park
  • La Dune de Boutouche (New Brunswick, Canada)
  • The Old Mill and Old Mill Square in Pigeon Forge, TN
  • Maine Huts and Trails
  • San Antonio’s Pearl Brewery
  • Gerding Theatre (OR)
  • Charleston (SC) City Market
  • The Quays (Manchester, England)
  • Dr. Mary Majka
  • World Birding Center (TX)
  • Mary’s Point Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve (Canada)
  • Colonial Theatre in the Berkshires
  • Railroad Park in Birmingham (AL)
  • N/a’an Ke Sê Foundation in Namibia
  • Kula Eco Park in Fiji
  • Central Park Conservancy (NY)

For more information about Canalside, visit: www.canalsidebuffalo.com.

About Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)
SATW is a professional association made up of 1,100 writers, photographers, editors, broadcast/video/film producers, bloggers, website owners, public relations experts and hospitality industry representatives from the United States and Canada. Founded in 1955, SATW comprises Travel’s Most Trusted Voices. Its members represent some of the most influential content producers in the travel industry with work that can be seen throughout all print, digital and broadcast platforms. SATW is committed to promoting responsible journalism, providing professional support and development for our members and encouraging the conservation and preservation of travel resources worldwide.

About Canalside
Canalside is a growing regional destination and entertainment district, situated on 21 historic acres along downtown Buffalo’s emerging waterfront on the Buffalo River. Canalside earns its name from its storied past, when the Erie Canal Harbor was built in 1825 as the western terminus of the Erie Canal. Until five years ago, the land was barren and inaccessible, but the area has been reclaimed by the state’s Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and developed with millions of dollars in public and private investment. With more than 1,000 yearly events and nearly 1 million annual visitors, Canalside is fast becoming the go-to place for in- and out-of-towners of all ages to learn, play and relax. For more information, visit www.canalsidebuffalo.com.

About Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation
The ECHDC is governed by a nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors. The seven voting directors are recommended by the New York State Governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The two nonvoting, ex-officio director positions are held by the Erie County Executive and the City of Buffalo Mayor.

As a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside, the Ohio Street corridor and the Outer Harbor that is attracting critical mass, private investment and enhance the enjoyment of the waterfront for residents and tourists in Western New York. Its vision is to revitalize Western New York’s waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region’s legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty. For more information on ECHDC, visit www.eriecanalharbor.com.