Biz beat: Investing in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The New York side of Niagara Falls will never be what the Canadian side is, says Michael DiCienzo.

    And the Niagara Falls developer understands that.

    But it’s not deterring his company from plunking down $50 million on hotels and attractions on the US side.

    “That could easily double,” says the Canadian Niagara Hotels developer. “The state of the city is really pro development right now. You can do a lot over there that can play to the size and scale of that market.”

    DiCienzo’s company owns eight hotels in Canada — seven in Niagara Falls — including various attractions like the Rainforest Cafe, Planet Hollywood and the building housing Casino Niagara. He estimates his company has spent $800 million on Canadian development.

    It’s been operating an affiliate company, Niagara Resorts, on the American side for almost 25 years and currently own two hotels and two restaurants.

    His group is the first and largest group of Canadian investors in Niagara Falls, N.Y., although there are others dedicated to revamping older properties.

    By fall, DiCienzo says he expects to start seeing changes on that side.

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