Signing off!

Ten days have passed since Nik Wallenda’s successful and historic walk over Niagara Falls on a high-wire. Everyone at Seneca Casinos congratulates Nik, his family, and his crew on a fantastic endeavor that helped put Niagara Falls in the international spotlight.

It seems only fitting to close out this blog… but not before one final interview with Nik Wallenda!

1.) The middle part of the walk certainly was challenging. How much did your training at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel come into play during those tough moments?

Absolutely!  The training at Seneca was invaluable!  It really played a vital role in keeping me safe.

2.) Was the “run” at the very end planned? Or was that pure adrenaline? Or a little or both?

Definitely a little of both.

3.) Have you watched the actual ABC special since your walk?

I have not had enough time to sit down and watch the show yet.  Hopefully later this week.

4.) So the Grand Canyon is next for you… when do you hope that might happen?

Maybe as soon as next summer!

5.) Any plans on returning to Niagara Falls anytime soon?

I’m hoping to visit Niagara Falls again this winter.

6.) We noticed you recently saw Madagascar 3 with your family. What does it feel like to have “time to be a dad” again?

I love being a dad again!  It’s most important duty and calling in life.

7.) We’re happy you stayed at Seneca Niagara!  Besides the views, The Western Door, and the hospitality, what would you say to people who ask about it?

It’s the place where Nik Wallenda stayed when he crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope!  What more is there to say?

By senecawallenda

Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel Is Home to Nik Wallenda for Historic High-Wire Walk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             Media Contact: 
                                                                                      Tony Astran 
                                                                                      Publicity Manager 
                                                                                      Seneca Gaming Corporation 
                                                                                      Phone: 716-501-2066 
                                                                                      E-mail: TAstran@SenecaCasinos.com 

SENECA NIAGARA CASINO & HOTEL IS HOME TO
NIK WALLENDA FOR HISTORIC HIGH-WIRE WALK

 
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – June 13, 2012 – Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel is home this week to Nik Wallenda, who will make worldwide history on Friday evening when he crosses directly over the breathtaking Niagara Falls on a two-inch high-wire.

Wallenda and his family previously stayed at the AAA Four Diamond Award–winning casino and hotel in May, as he trained for 11 straight days in the casino’s parking lot in front of thousands.  The May 12 to 22 practice sessions were covered by dozens of news outlets from around the world.

In a message to readers of the Wallenda Walks blog (http://wallendawalks.wordpress.com), managed by Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, Wallenda said: “The room and the hospitality [at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel] is amazing.  To top that off, the restaurants are incredible.  The Western Door [Steakhouse] is probably my favorite.  [Seneca Niagara’s] staff is courteous, and we even played some of the slots.”

Wallenda’s favorite entrée at the Western Door Steakhouse is The Chairman’s Delmonico – a 24-ounce, well-marbled cut that is dry-rubbed with bold seasoning, seared to perfection and topped with bleu cheese butter.  Wallenda’s wife, Erendira, and three children also will be staying once again at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.

Seneca Niagara Casino first opened on December 31, 2002, inside the former Niagara Falls Convention Center.  The hotel tower then opened three years later on December 31, 2005, and today remains the tallest hotel tower in New York State outside of Manhattan.  It has achieved the coveted AAA Four Diamond Award for exceptional service and amenities every year since its opening.

About Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel
Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel is located just minutes from the world-famous Niagara Falls in Western New York, near the Canadian border.  The property is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.  Guests can enjoy 147,000 square feet of gaming space with 4,000 slot machines and 100 table games, 10 restaurants, live entertainment and a AAA Four Diamond Award-winning, 26-story hotel with 604 recently-renovated deluxe rooms, a spa and salon, fitness center and indoor pool.  Please visit www.SenecaCasinos.com for more information. 

# # #

By senecawallenda

Catching Up with Nik Wallenda

Above: Nik Wallenda performs at National KidsFest 2012.

With less than one week until Nik Wallenda’s historic walk over Niagara Falls, the Wallenda Walks blog and Seneca Casinos recently reconnected with the high-wire stuntman via text message.  He will return in person mid-week to stay once again at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls USA.

1.) You just began performances in Branson, Missouri, during National KidsFest.  What is one neat act you have in store for attendees?

We are performing our family’s trademark chair pyramid on bicycles as the finale to our show.  It involves three people, one chair, and two bicycles more than 30 feet in the air — with no net!

2.) Will you be wearing any special clothing (e.g., logoed shirt, hat, wet suit) for the June 15 walk?

No logos as of now.  I will be wearing a suit that will keep me dry, though… as dry as possible, anyway!

3.) Besides prayer and sleep, what’s one fun thing you’ll do that’s fun after the walk is done?

Enjoy life again with my family!  This project has demanded so much of my time and energy, and I can’t wait to just be a dad and husband again.

4.) What do you think of the ABC commercial

I like it!

5.) What one thing – anything – would you like to pass on to readers of our Wallenda Walks blog?

My thanks to all of the readers for your endless support!  I couldn’t do what I do without the support of all of you.  Keep me in your prayers… and let’s go make some history!

By senecawallenda

Nik Wallenda Untethered

No, Nik Wallenda is not untethered — he still has to wear a safety harness (per ABC News’ request) for the upcoming June 15 walk.  But Nik exclusively told the Wallenda Walks blog that “Nik Wallenda Untethered” would be the name he’d like for a slot machine… should one ever be created with his likeness.  (We asked him what he’d name such a slot machine, in response to the end of another exclusive update he previously provided to us.  Click here or see below for the video.)

Here are other questions we asked him via text message this past weekend, and his responses:

1.) Are you feeling more refreshed after a few weeks back home?

I’m definitely feeling somewhat more refreshed, but also more overwhelmed as June 15 draws near!  There are lots of “moving parts” happening right now.


2.) How was Memorial Day? Did you and the family do anything fun?

Memorial Day actually was a day of with lots of work!  We had a BBQ with the family that evening.


3.) When does your show in Branson [Missouri] start, and how are preparations for that?

The show begins June 9.  I’ve been rehearsing quite a bit lately for it.

[Editor's note:  Here is a link with more information about the show -- http://bransontraveloffice.com/national-kidsfest-at-silver-dollar-city/]


4.) Any new updates on the tether/harness?

The tether is being made now.  I’m still not too excited about it, and there’s not much time to practice with it.  All in all, the situation stinks.

By senecawallenda

Volunteer to Make History!

Dear Community,

As you have heard, daredevil Nik Wallenda will transverse Niagara Falls the evening of Friday, June 15, 2012, in Niagara Falls USA. In the days leading up to this historic event and that day, Niagara USA and its stakeholders are in need of individuals who can volunteer their time to help with the logistics of the event, aid visitors to the area, and more.

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation (NTCC) is looking for volunteers (18 & over)  to help with the massive amount of tourists and residents that will come to Niagara USA that day, to participate in distributing collateral to visitors in the downtown area, as well as staff a visitor’s tent on Old Falls Street.

If you are available to spend some time helping with this once-in-a-lifetime event, please contact Jane Schroeder at jane@niagara-usa.com or 716 282 8992 ext. 312.

Sincerely,
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation (NTCC)

VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP SHEET:  DOWNLOAD HERE

By senecawallenda

Official Press Release from New York State Parks Regarding June 15 Walk

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12238

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   CONTACT: Angela P. Berti
May 29, 2012                                                                 716-278-1764 (desk)
                                                                                        716-704-6270 (cell)

 

FREE TICKETS WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE STARTING JUNE 1 FOR WALLENDA WALK VIEWING AREA IN NIAGARA FALLS STATE PARK

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that free vouchers for access to the Terrapin Point area of Goat Island for Nik Wallenda’s historic high-wire walk over Niagara Falls on June 15, 2012 will be available starting Friday, June 1 at 9 a.m.

The Terrapin Point area can safely accommodate 4,000 spectators.  Free tickets for public access to the Terrapin Point area will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis for interested spectators who pre-order through the website www.walkthefalls.com. Spectators will be limited to a maximum of five free vouchers per email address. 

Vouchers secured via the website can be redeemed for a wristband on June 15. Beginning at 9 a.m., wristbands can be picked up at the following locations in the State Park:  The Niagara Falls State Park Visitor Center and the Cave of the Winds Information Kiosk.  In addition, starting at 11 a.m., vouchers can be redeemed for wristbands at the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation Visitor Information Tent, located temporarily on Old Falls St. between Rainbow Blvd and Prospect St. in the City of Niagara Falls. There is no cash value for the voucher or wristband. 

“We are very excited to be hosting this historic event and are focused on providing a safe and enjoyable experience for the patrons that come to witness Nik’s walk,” said Commissioner Rose Harvey. “We are pleased that  Governor Cuomo has allowed us to offer spectators a chance to witness history at no charge.”

Wristbands will provide access to the event area at Terrapin Point on Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park beginning at 6 p.m. on June 15. Wallenda is expected to walk the Falls just after 10 p.m. and it is expected to take about 35 minutes for him to traverse the nearly 1,800 feet across the Niagara Gorge.  The event will occur rain or shine, although New York State Parks will retain the right to limit spectator viewing in the event of severe weather. Wristband holders will not be permitted to bring coolers, bottles, cans or large bags into the event area. Spectators will be accommodated in lawn seating, and will be allowed to bring portable folding chairs or blankets into the Terrapin Point viewing area.

Terrapin Point is the only area within Niagara Falls State Park from which spectators will have a clear view of Wallenda’s walk. Access to the Terrapin Point area is being limited to 4,000 spectators to protect visitor safety and accommodate equipment for Wallenda’s operation.

With the exception of Terrapin Point, where access will be limited to those possessing wristbands, all other portions of Niagara Falls State Park will be open to the public on a normal basis.  Wristbands are not required for access to other areas of the park.  The City of Niagara Falls is providing large screens for public viewing of the broadcast of the walk on Old Falls Street, directly adjacent to the State Park at Prospect Street.

It is expected that parking will be very limited in the park on June 15 and that traffic conditions getting to the park will be congested as the day progresses. Spectators are urged to arrive in the city early and enjoy the Park as well as the family oriented Sideshow activities going on in the City of Niagara Falls on Old Falls Street beginning at 11 a.m. Attractions in Niagara Falls State Park will be functioning as usual all day on June 15 as well.  Those planning to attend this event are urged to stay up to date on parking, traffic conditions and event information at www.walkthefalls.com and by tuning in to local media reports throughout the day.

People without computer access can call to request vouchers at 1-877-325-5787 ext. 337 beginning on June 1 at 9 a.m.

-30-

By senecawallenda

Nik Wallenda Update – 5-24-12

Seneca Casinos connected with Nik Wallenda earlier this morning via text message to catch up with the “King of the High Wire.”  Nik returned home to Sarasota, Florida (see photo above), on Tuesday evening after 11 straight days of training on a 55-foot high, 1,200-feet long, two-inch-thick high-wire at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.

What have you enjoyed most about being back in Sarasota?
Being able to sleep without a camera in my face.

What have you NOT missed about Niagara Falls?
I really enjoyed being in Niagara Falls but the media was a bit overwhelming.

Any update on making the harness for the June 15 walk?
The harness is still being engineered right now.

Is the family happy to be back home?
YES.  It’s always great to be back in your own home and sleep in your own bed.  For me, [this past] Tuesday was the first night I had a full night’s sleep in two weeks.

We’ll give Nik some much-needed peace and quiet through the Memorial Day weekend, and will check in again early next week.

By senecawallenda

Nik Wallenda Training: Day 11 — Final Day!

Hundreds of onlookers — if not, more than a thousand people — enjoyed one last opportunity this morning to see Nik Wallenda train at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel for his historic June 15 walk over Niagara Falls.  It was a bittersweet end for Nik, as he was quick to note that he would really miss the crowds but also desperately needed a break.  Severe physical and mental exhaustion had set in, and Nik struggled a bit on the high-wire with an aching back and hamstring muscle.  He then announced during the noon press/public daily debriefing that he unfortunately was cancelling the afternoon’s final training session.

Nik certainly did not disappoint morning attendees, however.  He completely scaled the high-wire from end-to-end and back, and signed seemingly-endless autographs and posed for photos upon completion of the debriefing. 

Perhaps to no surprise, the largest contingent of media arrived since the training sessions began.  In addition to all local television stations and major newspapers, a crew with CNN covered the entire morning session.  Also in attendance were China Central TV, ABC News 20/20, TCT (Total Christian Television), and the Associated Press.

We learned some final tidbits of information before Nik left with his family for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport to take an early-evening flight home to Sarasota, Florida:

  • Nik thought he accomplished everything he wanted and more with the training sessions.  “I learned how cable would interact,” he said, “and I’m extremely happy with how comfortable and confident I felt with yesterday’s water and wind machines.  The day of rain [on Wednesday, May 16] also built confidence.  It’s really a mental game up on the wire.”
  • While Nik is still unhappy about the prospect of wearing a harness on June 15, he will be practicing with one back home.  The harness will be placed around his waist, clipped on his back, and will trail behind him as he walks. 
  • To set up the wire over Niagara Falls, a helicopter will take a “messenger rope” across and attach it to giant spools on either side of the U.S./Canada border.  The actual wire that Nik will walk won’t ever touch the water.
  • Nik is thrilled to see the media reach from the training sessions.  “I’ve learned that China Central TV will reach 1.3 billion viewers, so what started as a dream is now reaching across the ends of the earth.”
  • Nik plans to “sleep in” on June 16.
  • Nik “talks to God” while walking the wire.  He finds it comforting.
  • Nik and his family did eke out a little bit of time for fun while in Niagara Falls USA.  “We went on Maid of the Mist, played mini-golf, and even went on a helicopter ride,” he said.  And, as mentioned on yesterday’s exclusive “Wallenda Walks Blog” video, Nik and his wife Erendira even tried some slot machines at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.
  • Finally, Nik said he is very grateful for the excellent service at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.  He’ll especially miss the food: he ate at the award-winning Western Door Steakhouse nearly a dozen times during his two-week stay.  And, not to worry — Nik will again stay at the hotel in June prior to his big day.

Although the training has now come to a close, we will continue to periodically update this blog with exclusive updates and quotes from Nik leading up to June 15.

By senecawallenda

That’s a Wrap!

At today’s noon press conference, Nik Wallenda announced that due to mental and physical exhaustion, the afternoon training session scheduled for 3:30 to 5 p.m. has been cancelled.  We apologize for the inconvenience and hope all our guests enjoyed the 11 days of historic high-wire training at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.

Day 11 update coming soon!

By senecawallenda