Traditionally, the Niagara Falls attracted a large number of tourists who attended the site to watch the beautiful waterfalls. Naturally, the interest of the public to the Niagara Falls stimulated the development of the tourist industry and lead to the emergence of numerous facilities and recreation areas within the site. In this respect, it should be said that the development of numerous attractions was mainly oriented on the use of the natural beauty of the Niagara Falls and basically the attractions aimed to facilitate the access of tourists to the Falls and make the time they spend there more memorable due to the creation of more convenient facilities.
Among the existing attractions, it is possible to name the Cave of the Winds which was created to organize tours on the Goat Island. In fact, the main purpose of the creation of the Cave of the Winds was to take visitors closer to the Niagara Falls waters. In such a way, the attractions allows visitors to have a close look at the Niagara Falls and it is closer than it was originally possible to the natural landscape of the site. In such a way, the creators of the attraction opened larger opportunities for visitors to make sightseeing and, simultaneously, they made the visit of the Niagara Falls even more fascinated than it used to be.
In actuality, the Cave of the Winds has an elevator 175 feet deep into the Niagara Gorge with the help of which visitors are carried to the waterfall where they wear a yellow puncho and the special footwear provided by the supervisors of the facility. A tour guide leads visitors over a series of walkways to the famous “Hurricane Deck”ť, where the visitors are standing at the railing 20 feet from the torrents of the thundering Falls head-on. In addition, visitors can usually see rainbows night and day. Moreover, there is a special deck which has been built 150 feet from the base of the Falls. This deck was specifically designed for people with special needs and adults with children in arms (Strand, 2008).
Originally, it was a natural cave behind Bridal Veil Falls 130 feet high, 100 feet wide and 30 feet in depth. It was discovered in 1834 and originally it was named Aeolus’ Cave, after the Greek god of winds. Guided tours began officially in 1841 and continued until a rock fall in 1920 after which it was clear that the passage was not safe and the life and health of visitors could be under a threat. As a result, the cave was obliterated in a massive 1954 rock fall and subsequent dynamiting of a dangerous overhang. In such a way, the site was secured and the threat to the life and health of visitors eliminated. The tour officially reopened in 1924. Today, the Cave of the Winds brings visitors to the front of the Bridal Veil instead of behind it, on a series of decks and walkways. The attraction gives visitors an opportunity to feel tropical storm-like conditions, as winds can reach up to 68 mph underneath the Falls.
Obviously, the product lifecycle has already undergone a few stages. To put it more precisely, from the moment of the opening of the attraction it progressed and reached the highest point in its development, but the rock fall in 1920 actually marked the end of the first life cycle of the attraction because it could not be any longer used because it exposed visitors to a risk of being harmed or even killed by another rock fall. Consequently, the attraction needed a considerable reconstruction, which though did not prevent the attraction from the repetition of the life cycle which reached its peak by the early 1950s, but ended with the rock fall in 1954. The latter needed a new reconstruction of the attraction and gradually it was developed into contemporary facility. Today, the attraction has already gone through the introduction and growth stage and it has reached the maturity stage since the number of visitors is stable and natural conditions remained unchangeable. However, it is possible to presuppose that under the impact of natural processes the attraction may need to be reconstructed in case of another rock fall, which will mark the end of the lifecycle of the attraction, but it does necessarily mean the total end of the existence of the attraction. Instead, it rather implies the new reconstruction of the facility which can ensure the safety of visitors.
At the same time, it should be said that the attraction is very popular among tourists because it is relatively cheap and provides ample opportunities to have great feelings and emotions due to sightseeing the Falls at a close distance. In fact, the price of the use of the attraction constitutes $10 for adults and $7 for children six to twelve. At the same time, the admission is free for children under five as well as it is free at all attractions in Niagara Falls State Park. In addition, there is a parking available at the Goat Island for $8 per car. Also, it is worth mentioning the fact that the attraction is supported by the local authorities and by the state which subsidize and can support the attraction financially if a reconstruction in the result of a rock fall, for instance, is needed.
At the present moment, the attraction plays an important role in the economic life in the region since it provides larger opportunities for doing sightseeing in the Niagara Falls. In fact, the attraction makes the visit of the Niagara Falls more comfortable and memorable. This is why it possible to speak about a huge potential of the attraction as a tourist facility. What is meant here is the fact that, today, the attraction is used by tourists regularly and, therefore, it accelerates the development of tourism in the area.
Obviously, the Cave of the Winds have good prospects for the further development because it constantly enlarge the availability of the facility and access to the Falls. For instance, today, disabled people and adults with children in arms have access to the Falls that means that the number of visitors increases. In the future, this trend is likely to be continued because the fully potential of the Cave of the Winds is enormous, while the interest of tourists to the Niagara Falls is long-lasting and increasable.