Author: Graham

    Stevensville animal park changes name

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    I noticed this a month or so ago, but neglected to blog about it. The Niagara Falls Review is just writing about it now:

    Stevensville animal park Zooz has taken on a new identity as Safari Niagara.

    “It’s the same ownership, management and staff. Just a new name,” said owner Tim Tykolis. The park will open on May 16.

    The new web site is

    U.S. diplimoat assures regional tourism leaders on border crossings

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    From Hotel Online:

    An American diplomat reassured regional tourism officials Thursday that tighter border-crossing requirements due to take effect June 1 will not impede the flow of travelers and their dollars to and from Canada.

    Not everyone attending the fourth annual Binational Tourism Alliance was convinced. Some fretted that a looming flu pandemic, combined with heightened border security, could spell trouble for the trade.

    Washington “is committed to making the border work … to making sure people are not turned away,” said John R. Nay, U.S. consul general in Toronto.

    Weak Canadian dollar means paying more at border

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The prolonged weakness of the Canadian dollar means people paying more to cross the border.

    Effective May 15, Canadian tolls for passenger vehicles will be increased to $4.00 Cdn from the current $3.75 rate. The U.S. tolls will remain at $3.25 U.S.

    The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, which operates the Rainbow, Queenston-Lewiston and Whirlpool Rapids border crossings, says the move is not a toll increase, but rather an exchange adjustment, which is “entirely based on U.S. currency and its exchange rate with the Canadian dollar.”

    The adjustment will include passenger vehicles using the discounted Canadian Express Pass as well, with the newly adjusted toll being $3.40 Cdn.

    ‘A huge deal’ for the Falls

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The $100-million convention centre dream is finally underway.

    Though work has already begun on the site of the new Niagara Convention and Civic Centre, plenty of dignitaries made it official Friday with a groundbreaking ceremony.

    To kickstart what Mayor Ted Salci calls the “unconventional convention centre,” the first official clients were flown in by helicopter to sign their contracts.

    Both the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Canadian Tire Dealers Association will hold major events here shortly after the centre opens for business, expected to be in the spring of 2011.

    Work starts on new N.F., Ont. center

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    From Buffalo Business First:

    Regional and provincial officials gathered in Niagara Falls, Ont., Friday morning for the ceremonial ground breaking for the city’s first convention center.

    The nearly 200,000-square-foot, $100 million center is being constructed just off of Stanley Avenue and in the shadow of some of the city’s largest hotels. Niagara Falls officials have been pressing for a convention center for more than 25 years, but the deal finally came together when private-sector interests, including Falls Management Co. LLC — operators of Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino Resort — and the Fallsview Business Improvement Association helped fund the project. That milestone agreement helped move the center from the dream stage to reality.

    Familiar faces return to iconic Falls tourism hot spot

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The new-look Oh Canada Eh? has an old face running the show.

    Three years after he retired and sold his share of the company he co-founded in 1994, Jim Cooper has returned to the award-winning dinner theatre.

    And he’s bringing some friends along.

    Veteran show member Melissa Penner, who left the musical around the same time Cooper did in 2006, has been brought back in her signature role of Klondike Kitty. As well, original cast member Larry Hurst -who has seen his role diminished in recent years -will enjoy more stage time.

    As Cooper describes it, coming back to Oh Canada Eh? was like slipping on a “comfy woolen sweater.”

    Gorge wall gets a spring tune-up

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It’s a job with a great view -as long as you are not afraid of heights.

    “I find it exciting every time I go over,” said Gordon Rosa, a mason supervisor with the Niagara Parks Commission.

    Each year, Rosa and his crew climb into a cage which is then lifted over the retaining wall near the brink of the falls by a large crane, and they are lowered into the gorge.

    It’s all part of the annual rock scaling operation along the great gorge wall on the Canadian side of the Horseshoe Falls. The job lasts about a week.

    Mint says law won’t allow Niagara Falls on new quarter series

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    From the Buffalo News:

    Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most iconic natural landmarks. Gov. David A. Paterson and Sen. Charles E. Schumer think the cascading falls would make an ideal pick to grace New York’s quarter in the upcoming America’s Beautiful National Parks quarters series.

    But the U. S. Mint says no.

    That’s because Niagara Falls is a state park, not a national park.

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