Nik Wallenda, who comes from a very famous daredevil family, is looking to make history today as he crosses over Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
Although others have performed the feat, no one has done it since 1896 due to Canadian safety laws, and Wallenda is guaranteed he will be the only one to do it in this generation. Also, he’ll be the first person ever to cross directly over the falls, a stretch of about 1800 feet which is about 200 feet above the water.
The event will be broadcast on ABC and Niagara Falls officials are hoping it will boost their economy, since the U.S. side of the natural wonder has seen a sharp decline in tourism over the years and has seen unemployment grow exponentially.
Paul Gromosiak, author of several books about the Falls, says the town is definitely suffering.
“A majority of people in the city are either retired or on welfare. Two-thirds are in that situation. Only one-third is working and most of the jobs are low paying.”
The town’s tourism promoters have been working diligently in recent weeks, restoring hotels and local businesses, as well as opening up a new casino and some restaurants. The hope is that this event will spark a newfound interest in the spot, and that Wallenda’s feat will be the jumping off point for more big events to come.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but a lot is happening,” promoter John Percy said. “Wallenda is one of the many things I hope that will rejuvenate this city.”