Keeping things fresh at HOCO

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Strapped into articulating yellow chairs and wearing 3D glasses, riders on the new XD Theater ride on Clifton Hill don’t know what they’re in for.

    But as the lights dim and the massive screen in front of them comes to life, they’re suddenly aboard a futuristic roller coaster hurtling them around huge rocks, above bottomless pits and through lava-filled caverns.

    The adventure is the latest attraction inside the Great Canadian Midway on the south side of Clifton Hill. The buildings and businesses on that side of the street are owned by HOCO Entertainment and Resorts.

    The Oakes family has been around in Niagara Falls since the 1920s, when mining tycoon Sir Harry Oakes built and moved into what is now known as Oak Hall. Today, his grandsons Harry and Phillip Oakes run HOCO and its portfolio of tourism-related businesses.

    The brothers have long believed that to be successful, they must stay current.

    “Our basic business philosophy is you have to continually get better,” said Harry Oakes. “If you stand still, you get steamrolled. That continual improvement applies to any business – whether it’s tourism or manufacturing.”

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