Ceretto: Hard Rock Café Decision A Victory For All Niagara Falls Businesses

April 12, 2012
At a press conference in Niagara Falls today, Assemblyman John D. Ceretto (R,I- Lewiston), Senator George Maziarz (R,C,I–Newfane), Niagara Falls City Councilmen Sam Fruscione, Bob Anderson and Glenn Choolokian and Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board Chairman Jerry Genova announced that the Office of NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation had granted permission for the Hard Rock Café to use its digital signage to promote its business. Under current law, the State Parks Department is granted full authority over all signage within 500 feet of a state park, even if the sign is on city property.

In response to the original decision, Assemblymen Ceretto and Dennis Gabryszak, in conjunction with Senate colleagues Maziarz and Mark Grisanti, introduced legislation that would grant the city of Niagara Falls jurisdiction over all property within 500 feet of Niagara Falls State Park. Ceretto helped craft this bill after receiving assurance from the Niagara Falls City Council that the city has its own state-mandated process to permit signage that safeguards against indecency and vulgarity

“Today marks progress for Niagara Falls,” said Ceretto. “The Hard Rock is a business trying to successfully provide services to local residents and tourists. While I am still fighting to pass legislation granting the city full jurisdiction over property within 500 feet of the park, the State Park Department’s reversal of their initial decision is a great first step. Going forward, I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Legislature and city government to make Niagara Falls an even better place to live and work.”

“I am pleased that the Parks Commission has agreed to the sign that Hard Rock Café wishes to place on their building,” said Senator George D. Maziarz. “The legislation that we introduced to eliminate the responsibility of the New York State Parks to oppose or authorize a sign that is near one of the parks will help rid the duplicative process that already is in place through the City of Niagara Falls. If enacted, this legislation will keep regulations in place by the City or Town that the location is in, but make the approval process a much more streamlined and faster approach.”

“I applaud Senator Maziarz, Assemblyman Ceretto and the Niagara Falls City Council working together to stand up for area businesses by allowing signage in the parks,” Assemblyman Gabryszak said. “Such advertising can help local businesses by attracting visitors which, in turn, can help generate revenue for our area.”

"This is welcome news for Niagara Falls," said State Senator Mark Grisanti. "Businesses in Niagara Falls should have every opportunity to market themselves to the millions of tourists who visit Niagara Falls each year. I'm glad NYS Parks reversed course."

“It’s taken a lot of work and the full cooperation of Assemblyman Ceretto and Senator Maziarz, but finally we have the new Hard Rock digital sign approved and operating,” said Niagara Falls City Council Chairman Sam Fruscione. “No pun intended, but this is a good sign; a sign that with the legislative support of our State officials the Niagara Falls City Council can work quickly and efficiently to make a positive difference.”

“Purpose and focus are the key ingredients to achieving positive goals. Assemblyman Ceretto and Senator Maziarz clearly understand the goals of the City Council: growing our downtown and encouraging businesses to locate and expand here,” said City Council member Glenn Choolokian.

“When we cooperate, we get things done. Working with the Senator and Assemblyman has been a pleasure, and I’m happy to say that the City of Niagara Falls has a strong partnership with our elected state representatives,” said three-term City Council member Bob Anderson. “It’s a partnership that bodes well for the good of our business community and the good of the city.”

“The takeaway to the riddle of the Hard Rock sign is the fact that we now fully appreciate how much the Niagara Falls community can accomplish with responsive local representatives working for us in the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate,” said Niagara Falls tourism Advisory Board Chairman Jerry Genova.