Category: Niagara Falls News

Niagara Falls lights up for holidays

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WIVB channel 4 in Buffalo has a short video about the Holiday Lights of Niagara:

The Cataract City is going green to light up for the holidays.

Niagara Falls signed a partnership with the United Way Monday, to cosponsor the third annual Holiday Lights of Niagara.

Mayor Paul Dyster says the $30,000 investment will draw business to the Honeymoon capitol during the holidays.

He’ll flip the switch for the Holiday Lights on November 25th.

The Capri closes doors after 55 years

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

The Capri Restaurant on Ferry Street was closed to the public Tuesday and its furnishing have been removed.

But what led to the closure – and whether it’s a permanent or temporary situation – is unclear.

Marisa Alfieri-Hay, daughter of business founder the late Sam Alfieri, was inside the restaurant Tuesday afternoon but declined comment.

“I can’t say anything to the newspaper right now because of legal reasons,” Alfieri-Hay said.

Instead, she said she hopes to publish a letter to their customers in the near future explaining the circumstances.

Pan Am Games may spur public transit expansion to Niagara

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

The Pan Am Games might spur changes to the long-term transit plans for the Golden Horseshoe.

While some say certain projects should be moved up the priority list to be completed in time for the games, others critical of the idea of using diesel trains for the Union-Pearson Rail Link, say the games should be a catalyst to electrify that line from the get-go.

Yesterday, Transportation Minister Jim Bradley said changing the long-term transit plan because of the Pan Am Games, which will span the entire region from Niagara Falls to Oshawa, is possible, but he wouldn’t commit to additional funding.

Timing is everything

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From the Toronto Sun:

Explore your own backyard

Tourist towns near the border with the U.S. have suffered a triple whammy in recent years. The recession, new passport rules and a strong Canadian dollar have kept Americans at home.

According to statistics from Ontario Tourism, from January to June 2009 the number of American visitors to Ontario fell 7.9% compared with the same period in 2008.

Some of the losses have been offset by an increase in Canadian visitors cashing in on deals for hotels, dining and attractions in places hard hit by the downturn such as Niagara Falls.

Many of us think of the Falls as a summer getaway but there are enough year-round attractions to make it a fun long weekend for families, couples or friends.

Festival lights up Niagara

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

With the flick of a switch, the Niagara Parkway erupted with about three million lights illuminating more than 120 seasonal displays.

The 27th annual Winter Festival of Lights, which attracts more than one million visitors each year, officially got underway this past weekend with performances ranging from magical to soulful.

Mother Nature, however, provided anything but wintery weather for the roughly 6,000 people who gathered at Queen Victoria Park Saturday to watch Disney divas Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck, the Festival of Lights Choir, Niagara Star Singers and A Cappella Niagara.

Cool, but comfortable, temperatures provided the perfect backdrop for performances by magician Greg Frewin and the cast from the Oh Canada Eh! Dinner Show, which preceded the major attraction of the evening as Disney’s Mickey Mouse and galpal Minnie flipped the switch to sparkle the parkway.

Fireworks shot off in the gorge capped off the show.

Spinning Security at 500 Feet

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This doesn’t affect any of the visiting tourists, but here is a short article from JMR SoftwareSystems about the challenges implementing a network at the spinning restaurant at the Skylon Tower:

The very location of the RDR presents a challenge. With a more than 500 foot span from the central computers at the bottom of the tower to the terminals at the top, fibre optic connections are necessary to bridge the gap. In the dining room stations are located on both the revolving floor and the stationary centre, making wireless connectivity for the system a must.

Comics and Cartoons to Invade Niagara Falls

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From Anime News Network:

The Can-Am Comics and Anime Expo will be held in Niagara Falls Canada at the famous Skylon Tower, March 12-14, 2010.

The show will feature displays from exhibitors covering both of these popular and interesting genres. While comic books and their collectors have been almost timeless, the Japanese cartoon animation forms (Anime) are relatively new…

The Skylon Tower itself, is one of The Fall’s principle attractions offering panoramic views of the whole lush Niagara region as well as having a large full service arcade plus food court and other features. All of the famous Niagara Attractions are located within walking distance of the Can-Am Comics and Anime Expo assuring that many families will make a it a fun weekend to come to the Falls.

Casino lease extension makes sense: Premier

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Protecting the Ontario government’s own investment in Casino Niagara is the reason it has to be treated differently from the Maid of the Mist, says Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, rejecting opposition calls to invite bids from property owners interested in hosting a casino.

“There is a distinction,” the premier told reporters in Niagara- on-the-Lake Wednesday where he spoke at the Ontario Economic Summit.

With Ontario Lottery and Gaming’s lease on the casino’s Falls Avenue location set to expire in March, McGuinty said his government’s preference is to have the Crown corporation continue negotiating an extension with landlord Canadian Niagara Hotels.

The government has two options for Casino Niagara – renew the lease “at a reasonable rate” or abandon the Canadian Niagara Hotels location for a new location to be determined later.

When Casino Niagara opened in 1996, Ontario Lottery and Gaming pumped $125 million into the old Maple Leaf Village site to convert a defunct amusement park into Ontario’s second commercial casino.

Building a new casino would mean walking away from the initial investment and some smaller expenditures like the $12 million spent in 2005 when sports betting came in.

“When you look at it that way, it really makes sense for us to do the best that we can to negotiate a reasonable new lease at the existing site,” McGuinty said. “It was a lot of money to build that casino inside that space.”

Reopening boat lease fraught with danger

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Premier Dalton McGuinty sailed into uncharted waters, forcing the Niagara Parks Commission to put its lease with the Maid of the Mist out to tender. If he doesn’t navigate carefully, he risks steering the Niagara Falls tourism industry right onto the rocks.

Jaws dropped in Niagara Falls last Wednesday when Ontario Tourism Minister Monique Smith announced she was “requesting” the Niagara Parks Commission hold a competitive bidding process to find a company to run boat tours in the Niagara gorge. Right now, the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co., a private company, pays rent to the parks commission for the use of government land to run the Canadian part of its business.

Some expected the government to rubber-stamp the recommendation from its own commissioners to renew its lease with the Maid of the Mist.

Open government is a noble goal. But when managing a public trust, it can’t always be about the lowest bid. Why not issue tenders for everything – hospitals, schools, museums, the military, and the U. S. space program?

On routine business, issuing tenders is a fair way for governments to do business. As long as all the companies are equally qualified to provide the service, it makes sense to take the low bid.

But running boat tours in the Niagara River is not like buying a new fleet of pickup trucks.

Comedians rally for new dialysis centre

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From Niagara This Week:

Komedy for Kidneys, a fundraising event to benefit the construction of a kidney dialysis centre in Niagara Falls, returns for a second year to the Greg Frewin Theatre.

The charity event was recently renamed in memory of comedian Rodney Pentland, who passed away earlier this year due to complications related to kidney disease.

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