Graham on November 17th, 2015

If you haven’t heard about this, you still have time…

If you are a Niagara resident, you can go to the top of the Skylon Tower for free until Friday. We went up as a family this past Saturday, and it was pretty easy. We walked in with our kids. Both my wife and I showed our ID and we all got to go. They didn’t try to upsell us on anything. We just got to go.

I’ll post some pictures later…

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From a MarketWired press release:

Few things evoke the holidays as powerfully as a good lights display. And the Winter Festival of Lights at Niagara Falls is about as spectacular as they come. Boasting more than 3 million lights and 125 animated displays, this annual event, now in its 33rd year, will attract thousands of spectators this winter. And offering them a front-row seat to all the holiday magic is the Courtyard Niagara Falls.

The fun kicks off on November 21 when the Niagara Falls Festival of Lights impresses audiences with an all new lineup of opening ceremonies at Queen Victoria Park. Starting at 6 p.m., the event will include the CHROMATIQUE show (featuring art, music and technology) and a dance performance by the Tin Soldiers).

Other opening night performances will include the light show LED Danza and the debut of the Fallsview Sound & Light Show. Plus visitors can tour the 5 kilometres of displays throughout the Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland, Dufferin Islands and surrounding areas. (On the Dufferin Islands, visitors are treated to light displays of howling wolves, bears and other wildlife, while a 20-by-35-foot tower of cascading lights almost steals the show.)

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Graham on November 20th, 2015

From the Niagara Falls Review:

Expect to see some multi-million dollar changes taking place near the top of Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls.

Older buildings like the Comfort Inn are slated for demolition, businesses like Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum and Kelsey’s Restaurant are being renovated or expanded, and new interactive entertainment features are being added to the mix.

“Once the Comfort Inn is removed we will have a four-acre site available and that’s going to be expansion for our Clifton Hill entertainment facilities,” said Harry Oakes, president of Hoco Limited, that owns and operates a number of attractions, restaurants and shops on the south side of the street.

The Comfort Inn closed early last month, all the essential services were cut off on Monday, and large excavators were expected to be on site Wednesday or Thursday to begin taking down the building.

“We are going to be busy this winter so we are just cranking up right now,” said Oakes. “It’s kind of the next phase in our multi-plan, master plan that we have for the whole site. The construction that is going to take place over the next several months is about 20,000-square feet of renovations and about 30,000-square feet of new buildings, along with extensive streetscape site work.”

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From Time Warner Cable News:

The space on 310 Rainbow Boulevard in Niagara Falls is the projected home of a future six-story, mixed use development, but as it stands today, it’s still just empty undeveloped space.

“It’s a large project it’s a very complex project and it’s taking considerably longer than anyone had anticipated to complete the financial arrangements,” Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said.

Hamister Group, LLC announced the general contractor in late June, and was hoping to break ground on the $35 million Hamister Hotel project over the summer.

However, months later there’s still no firm date for groundbreaking, and the approved project schedule continues to be pushed back

That’s why Michael DiCienzo of Niagara Falls New York Hotel Management wrote to the city, asking officials to consider letting his company develop the site instead.

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From the Niagara Gazette:

As I’ve said before, and I say again because it bears repeating, talk to almost any senior Niagara Falls, New York resident with a good memory, or any expatriate, anyone who has moved away but who still harbors grand memories of their beloved, albeit forsaken hometown, inevitably the subject of fine cuisine and the city’s grand old days inevitably arise.
Niagarans of every nationality whether they hailed from Europe, New England or the Deep South, have fond memories of the good food and great places that Niagara Falls was once famous for, beside the Cataracts.

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Graham on November 19th, 2015

From the Niagara Falls Review:

When he worked for Molson’s, Gord Slater recalls a time when people were shocked the brewer offered six different brands of beer.

Beer is beer, they said. It’s all supposed to taste the same.

But he knew there was a whole world of suds waiting to be tapped. When he helped pass legislation in 1984 making brewpubs legal in Ontario, craft breweries were finally allowed to breathe.

It took awhile, but now he finds himself at events like this weekend’s Real Canadian Craft Beer Festival, held Saturday at the Scotiabank Convention Centre. With 25 craft breweries, including five from Niagara, beer enthusiasts had their pick of flavours.

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Graham on November 19th, 2015

Back in July you may recall that Bravo Pizzeria + Grill had a fire. They have been closed for 4+ months, but they will be reopening next week. According to their website, it was an electrical fire caused by one of their exterior signs.



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From Niagara This Week:

While the 32nd annual Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights last year was regarded as a transitional year for the event, this year’s promises to build on that and establish a more modern festival.

Lasers, 3D illuminations and projection lighting are the new signatures, including a new “Spirit of Niagara” presentation that will be illuminated on the walls of the Oakes Hotel Overlooking the Falls.

“Hopefully we’ll create a body of work where the province sees us as a winter destination,” said John Lohuis, general manager of the Niagara Parks Commission and chair of WFOL’s board of directors.

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Graham on November 18th, 2015

“The Comfort Inn Clifton Hill at the corner of Clifton Hill and Victoria Ave in Niagara Falls is being demolished. I took some pictures of the demolition. It is moving along with large gaps in the building now. From Victoria Avenue you can see Boston Pizza.

These are pictures taken on Tuesday, November 17, 2015”

From 20151117 Demolition of the Comfort Inn Clifton Hill, posted by Niagara Falls Blog on 11/18/2015 (13 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

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Graham on November 18th, 2015

From the Vanmeer Free Press:

The Vanmeer Free Press has confirmed the Comfort Inn on Clifton Hill Niagara Falls is closing it’s doors on October 12th, putting up to 50 people out of work, some people will be given jobs in other areas within the parent company officials say. The Inn is one by Hoco Entertainment who also owns a Tim Hortons and The Great Canadian Midway. Hoco’s Joel Newdon told the VFP “changes in market conditions” prompted the move. “We are looking at different strategies it was a business strategy more than anything”

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Graham on November 18th, 2015

From the Niagara Falls Review:

Those who want to develop a new entertainment complex attached to Fallsview Casino will be able to make their bids starting this fall, according to Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati.

Diodati said he was told by Ontario Lottery and Gaming that the provincial Crown corporation plans to open up the request for proposals process for bidders around October or November.

“I’ve seen some great expressions of interest already,” said Diodati. “I’ve seen some designs, concept plans and architectural renderings — there are going to be some significant proposals.”

Niagara Falls politicians and tourism officials have been pushing for years for a new 7,000-seat entertainment theatre.

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