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Nik Wallenda Back in Western New York

9:45 AM, Aug 15, 2013   |    comments
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The man who walked across Niagara Falls on a high wire was back in Western New York Wednesday.

"When I walked over the Falls, it changed my career. It changed my life for sure, there's no doubting that," says Nik Wallenda.

Wallenda was at the Erie County Fair to scout out locations where he could potentially perform a high wire walk at the fair next year for its 175th anniversary.

Wallenda was also there to help unveil the theme and poster of next years fair as well as start the official countdown.

"As I went on top of that ferris wheel looking out over the fair, my vision would be to walk on top of the entire fair. Right over the midway and up in the grandstand would be the dream," he says.

While still in the very early planning stages, Wallenda's walk at next year's fair would likely be two-hundred feet up in the air from crane to crane and tether-free.

But, he also has some much bigger plans in the works for a 1500 to 2000 seat venue in the Falls.

"I want it to be a permanent facility with an indoor water park and a place for families to come similar to a great wolf lodge. A place where you bring your families and rather than having to go, it's almost to the point, in my opinion, where you have to go to Canada to stya somewhere nice with the family. I want that for our country. I want that on our side of the border, and that's the big picture and that's the dream with of course using my name, my brand and hopefully I'm in a theater there that I would perform in. I'd love to perform six months out of the year," he says.

While it isn't a done deal yet, Wallenda says he feels like Western New York is his second home and he is not worried about hitting roadblocks.

"My motto is never give up, and there will be a show there eventually with my name on the billboard, I guarantee you," he says.

We spoke with Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster on the phone, and he told us he's been talking with business people and developers that would allow the project to move forward.

But Dyster stresses Wallenda will be the one to make all of the decisions about who he wants to work with.

Dyster would also like to see Wallenda return to the Falls next summer if it works with his schedule.

State Senator Mark Grisanti is also supportive of a permanent Wallenda exhibit in the Falls. He says it would be great for the entire region, and adds that he doesn't know anyone who would say "no" to Wallenda.

 

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