Dyster Discusses Effects of Upcoming Wallenda Stunt

Erendira Wallenda to hang from a helicopter, using her teeth, over Niagara Falls

Mike Baggerman
June 02, 2017 - 4:00 am

AP Photo/Gene Puskar

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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WBEN) - Erendira Wallenda's daredevil stunt at Niagara Falls will take place on June 15 at 8:30 a.m. to commemorate the five-year anniversary of her husband, Nik's, high-wire walk over the falls.

She's expected to hang from a helicopter, using only her teeth, over Niagara Falls. The helicopter will take off from the parking lot of Seneca Niagara Hotel and Casino. 

"I think those of us who were on the ground in Niagara Falls (in 2012) feel that we saw a significant bump (in tourism) for some time to come," Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster told WBEN. "There's a lot of reasons for that, it's not all about Nik Wallenda but it certainly didn't hurt."

Dyster explained that the 8:30 a.m. start time was meant to maximize coverage on local news stations and international media too.

"We're trying to get on the afternoon news in Europe and then on the evening back in the United States," he said.

Some of the criticism of the Wallenda stunts was that it commercialized Niagara Falls, but Dyster refuted that criticism by saying the aftermath showed them the opposite was true and that Nik Wallenda was giving glory to God for creation a natural wonder.

On The WBEN Liveline: Hear Niagara Falls City Councilman Ken  the council's lone vote against city funding for the effort.

Dyster said the city had a conference call with organizers on Thursday and are in constant communication with them. He said he was assurred by organizers that Wallenda would be safe during the stunt but there were still dangers that the city would take precautions for.

Funding for the $120,000 stunt came mostly from the city and Niagara County. The city paid $35,000 and Niagara County said it would match the city funds. The mayor suggested the rest of the funds would come from Seneca Niagara Casino but wouldn't confirm that. 

"I don't want to make their announcement for them but that was our understanding and the county's moving forward," Dyster said.   

LISTEN: Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster discusses latest developments in Erendira Wallenda stunt

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