Best of Access Niagara – Hornblower Niagara Cruises

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This is a continuation of my “Best of Access Niagara” series. This series looks back on popular posts, highly commented posts, my favourite places, etc.

The other day I told my kids about the series I was putting together about the best of Niagara Falls, and asked what attraction we’ve been to that I should highlight. Without hesitation my daughter said, “Hornblower!”.

One of the biggest news stories in Niagara Falls in the last decade was the renewal of the Maid of the Mist contract with the Niagara Parks Commission, and then the subsequent uproar about how it was done. The end result was that the contract was opened to other companies, and it was ultimately award to Hornblower. They already had experience providing tours to Alcatraz, Statue of Liberty, and more.

Well, it seems to have been a great decision. Hornblower improved the platform at the river’s edge, brought in new boats, and is setting sales records each year. They are now going to improve the incline railway that goes down the hill.

I’ve been on the Hornblower tour a couple of times, but it appears I’ve never written about it (or at least I can’t find the blog postings). I’ll have to take another trip and write about it. For now, just trust me… if you haven’t had a chance to try them yet, you should. It really is the best way to see the Falls!

Visit other pages from the “Best of Access Niagara” series:

Niagara Falls may have more visitors than it thought

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From the Buffalo News:

Niagara Falls tourism officials customarily say that their city draws 8 million visitors a year, but a new study may show the figure may be larger than that.

A consultant estimates 7.3 million Americans visited Niagara Falls last year. Longwoods International is still working on numbers for Canadian and other foreign tourists, said John H. Percy Jr., president of Destination Niagara.

Niagara Falls announces summer events

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From WGRZ Channel 2 in Buffalo:

Niagara Falls announced events and activities for this summer.

Destination NiagaraUSA, Old Falls Street, USA, Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino and Niagara Falls State Park held a joint press conference Thursday to announce the plans.

“I am so pleased that all of our downtown partners have come together to share all of the exciting events and activities that will be taking place this summer,” said John Percy, President & CEO of Destination Niagara USA in a statement. “As we look forward to another extremely successful tourist season, we are thrilled that our visitors and residents will have access to such a diverse and entertaining list of things to do.”

Consultant hired to study feasibility of events center in Niagara Falls

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From the Buffalo News:

A Minneapolis consulting firm, Conventions, Sports & Leisure International, has been hired to study the feasibility of a sports and events facility for the City of Niagara Falls.

The consultant has been directed to deliver the report by Oct. 1, according to Samuel M. Ferraro, Niagara County economic development commissioner. The $113,000 cost will be split equally among the county, city and state.

Niagara Falls is both friendly and flashy

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From the Tennessean (including photos):

My first impression of Canada is that it’s flashy.”

These were the words of my 12-year-old son crossing the bridge from New York to Niagara Falls, Ontario. This impression will prove short-lived for him and his two brothers, but if you make this journey at night, you can’t miss the urgent neon of the town’s casinos and resorts.

No, guys, those aren’t the Northern Lights.

Just as there are two major waterfalls in Niagara Falls (American Falls on the U.S. side and Canada’s Horseshoe Falls), there are two Niagara Falls communities, one on either side of the border.

Kicking off tourism season Friday

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Tourism officials in Niagara are expecting another solid tourism season as Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Jackie Phillip, manager of the two Ontario travel information centres in Niagara, said she has talked to a few tourism officials who expect to see business increase between 10 and 20 per cent.

“If we get a 10 per cent increase across the board I’d be thrilled and I think with Canada’s and Ontario’s 150th, and with the US dollar the way it is and with the internationals that are travelling, I think we can do it,” she said.

Niagara Falls visitors may have been exposed to measles, state warns

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From the Buffalo News:

State health officials have issued an advisory that some people may have been exposed to measles May 11-12 at four locations, including Niagara Falls.

A tourist from India with measles visited the locations, according to the Health Department.

People lacking immunity or who are not sure if they have been vaccinated should contact their physician if they develop measles symptoms, which include fever and rash 10 to 12 days after exposure. Measles is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions.

See also:

Fox 5 NY – Tourist with measles rode Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls; measles exposure warning

The King reigns supreme at Niagara Falls Elvis Festival

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Real estate agent Sylvain Leduc travelled to Niagara over the weekend but it wasn’t to check out the region’s hot real estate market.

The Quebec resident was a competitor in the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival at Greg Frewin Theatre.

Leduc began entertaining family and friends with his Elvis Presley skills when he was just 15.

“I grew up with his music,” he said Saturday as he prepared to take to the stage for the second round of the competition. “It’s almost the only music I’ve listened to all my life.”

While he has performed as an Elvis tribute artist — referred to as an ETA — for decades, he didn’t enter the competition circuit until a few years ago.

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