Fixing the Falls: Downtown still under development

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    From the Niagara Gazette:

    The DiCienzio family has been doing hotel business on both sides of the border in Niagara Falls for years.

    In 2007, the family business, Canadian Niagara Hotels, sold the old Holiday Inn at the corner of Third Street and Rainbow Boulevard to make way for its demolition as part of the expansion of the footprint for the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel.

    Three years later, the Dicienzios, who own several hotel properties in Niagara Falls, Ontario, returned to the American side with an investment in the former Crowne Plaza Hotel. The Third Street property has since been renovated and re-opened under the Sheraton flagship. Last month, the company opened a TGI Friday’s restaurant inside the hotel on the side facing Old Falls Street.

    Michael DiCienzio says favorable Canadian currency rates and other market factors played a role in the family’s decision to invest downtown. He said improvements to the appeal of the area helped as well.

    “It’s better since they took out the Wintergarden and developed the Old Falls Street promenade,” DiCienzio said. “You have the anchors at each end with the casino and the park and now everything else can line up in between. It’s absolutely moving in the right direction. There’s no doubt about that.”

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