Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Riverworks is gearing up for summer and making a huge investment in their amusement park and event space.

While it still doesn’t feel like summer in Western New York, the region is just weeks away from festivals, fun and excitement. The outdoor activities at Riverworks will likely open in about a month and the event center hopes to make the space even bigger and better than before, bringing in visitors from near and far.

“If you didn’t know the zip code, you wouldn’t know you were in Buffalo,” Bill Casale, general manager of Pearl Street Properties, said. “It’s important to us to create a world class destination. We’re hoping we give people even more of a reason to come to Western New York and stay for more than one day and visit the Falls. Finally here in Buffalo there’s a lot more to do.”

The nearly $3 million investment into the riverfront event space will include a new banquet room, sound system for concerts, virtual reality center, tiki bar near the outdoor biergarten and a new ride called “The Jawz Drop Tower.” The ride will replace the shorter drop ride that is currently in the amusement park area.

With the winter season hopefully in the rearview mirror, Riverworks is transitioning to summer activities, preparing for more events, visitors and even summer camps for kids.

“Now it’s time to flip and get the summer activities going. It’s a very quick process and we have a very short window to do that. Luckily we’re going to get some nice weather next week to put some patio furniture out, getting everything cleaned up,” Casale continued.

Casale added that Riverworks will only continue to grow as they hope to add more entertainment to this up-and-coming area of Buffalo. So far, $40 million has been invested into the property and they aren’t done yet.

“We are in the teeth of a very tough economic situation coming out of COVID, we struggled. We were shutdown for about 6 months out of that year, 2020. We are still rebounding, but we think it is important to continue to reinvest create opportunities, and create more things to do for when people not only come to Buffalo but also Riverworks,” Casale explained.

Riverworks closed the ice rink on Thursday. The focus will switch to summer programs, events and activities. The Jawz Drop Tower ride will hopefully be up and running by Memorial Day. The Ferris wheel will be open by Mother’s Day. Both openings are subject to weather delays.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.

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