Survey Results for Garden Walk Buffalo

I think what surprised me most was that 75% of visitors from out-of-town come here specifically for Garden Walk Buffalo. That means, while here, they visit Niagara Falls, or the Albright-Knox Art Gallery or Wright's Martin House or other attractions, as opposed to the other way around (spending money all the while).

A Granger Place Garden
I also found it surprising that 43% of visitors outside the area have come to Garden Walk an average of three times. That means we're doing something right. I mean, I know people in the neighborhood have gone on Garden Walk and average of seventeen times (it's seventeen years old), but out-of-towners?

Another unexpected result found was that out-of-towners spend an average of three nights here for the weekend -- with about half of them needing hotels rooms. I would not have expected three nights as an average (it was actually 2.9).

And I was very pleased with Garden Walk's REALLY, REALLY high marks with satisfaction on the event (a 4.9, with 5 being excellent).

And I totally expected 96% to leave with an extremely favorable view of Buffalo (4.6, with 5 being excellent). How could you not?

A Lancaster Avenue garden
Here's the nitty-gritty:

Visit Buffalo Niagara commissioned Ruth Diamond Market Research, Inc. for an intercept study, on site, in gardens of Garden Walk Buffalo this past year - focusing on attendees from outside of Erie and Niagara counties. Based on 574 attendees surveyed, 18% lived 50 miles or more, away from Buffalo. Below results refers to this 18% of out-of-town visitors:

  • 57% had never attended before, but of the 43% that had, the average number of times they'd attended in the past was 2.8.
  • Word of mouth was the top source of awareness when asked how respondents found out about the event.  Media-specific responses included newspaper articles (Cleveland, Erie, Rochester, Pittsburgh) and magazines (Fine Gardening, Horticulture, Canadian Gardening, Better Homes and Gardens' Country Gardens magazine), garden blogs, and Internet (,  
  • 51% were aware that Garden Walk Buffalo is part of the National Garden Festival. 34% were aware of Open Gardens. 26% were aware of the Front Yard Garden Contest. 16% were aware of AAA Bus Tours.
  • 75% came to Buffalo specifically for this event.
  • Respondents represented 21 states, Canada and the UK.
  • The respondents’ “love of gardens/plants,” and interest in getting “inspiration/ideas” were the top reasons given for attending this event.  Many also considered the Garden Walk a social event.   
A Lincoln Parkway garden
  • 74% stayed overnight due to this visit.
  • The average number of days of overnight lodging was 2.9.
  • 46% stayed at a local hotel/motel. Of this group, 44% lodged within the City, 38% in the suburbs, and 18% outside the immediate area.
  • The following depicts the percentage of respondents who participated in each activity, due to being in town for the Garden Walk:
    Eating at local restaurants: 98%
    Shopping at local shops/stores/malls: 67%
    Visiting other sites/events: 48%
  • The average number of dollars respondents estimated to spend in the area for this trip was $248 (23% did plan to spend over $400).
  • Satisfaction with the event averaged 4.9, with 5 being excellent. 
  • The most prevalent multiple verbatim reasons given behind high ratings included:  “Beautiful” (20%); “People / gracious people /open homes / thought and effort” (15%); “Ideas” (10%);  “Well organized” (6%);  “Variety” (5%).
  • 96% had an extremely favorable overall impression of Buffalo, with the average rating of 4.6, with 5 being excellent.
A York Street garden
  • Average age: 55.5
  • College educated: 73%
  • Married:  70%
  • Average household income:  $83,903
  • Gender: 82% female, 18% male
  • Magazines 39%; HGTV 24%; Websites/Search Engines 22%; Other multiple-mentioned sources included garden clubs, garden blogs, garden centers, and word of mouth.
  • 51% use Facebook on a regular basis.  11% use Twitter.

A Lancaster Avenue garden
One in five Garden Walk Buffalo attendees lives well outside Buffalo, NY, visiting from all over the country. Nearly half of visitors from outside of a fifty mile radius have attended Garden Walk Buffalo three items, showing its appeal as an annual event. The majority visit specifically for Garden Walk Buffalo, with half visiting other area attractions during their stay. Visitors stay for an average of three nights, half of them needing hotel accommodations. Nearly all spend their money on restaurants, a large majority on shopping. Visitors depart with holding Garden Walk Buffalo in extremely high regard and leave with a extremely favorable impression of the City of Buffalo.


  1. On one hand the numbers are surprising on the other hand not so much when you think about how wonderful Buffalo and it's gardens are.
    Good reward for all the hard work put in my so many wonderful people.

  2. IMO, one of the many things Garden Walk does right, is appeal to a wide economic range. You attract a wide demographic because it's free, it's not designed give attendees no choice but to spend money. But it they want to, there's plenty of places to do it. People can do as little or as much as they like. Not a lot of events can do this -- or do it as well.

  3. pelenaka,
    Thank you for the kind words!

    243 Dearborn,
    Free is our secret weapon. Thanks for the kind words!


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