Category: Niagara Falls News

    Winter Festival of Lights – Marketing Strategy?

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    In December I wrote about my recent visit to Niagara’s Winter Festival of Lights, and said that I would follow up on a comment I made about the marketing of the event.  Well, here it is.

    My mom and dad brought us to Niagara when we were kids, before the Festival of Lights was a “thing”.  Then it became a “thing” and we enjoyed the displays of the saluting mounties, and kids building an igloo…. rams butting heads and ice skaters.  And Noah’s Ark, of course.  We were KIDS, mind you.

    Then Disney came along and we watched it grow, and grow, and GROW.  We were adults by then, and, despite the fact that they were ads for the entertainment giant, we loved the displays.  They obviously had an appeal for kids.  We would park and walk through the field and admire them up close.

    Which brings us to 2014.  While the multitude of Christmas Trees was lovely, we had no incentive to park and wander any closer.  To me – that’s lost revenue for Niagara Parks!  No parking fee and no sales at the gift shops (that were a great place to warm up).  Maybe maintaining the often-muddy field was an issue, and they only want to offer a “drive by” experience from now on.  Many Light Festivals are just that, anyway.

    Now, my second thought… what appeal is there for kids in a giant Buffalo or Moose or Deer?  The animated Goose was pretty cool….but what about the giant banana (as my niece called it)?

    As I stated in a prior post – I’m a graphic designer, so I get and admire what went into those displays.  They are beautiful.  But from a marketing angle, I’m confused.  To me, light displays have to have something that interests kids.  Do the more sophisticated gold displays have more of an appeal to the people that the Casino draws?

    Maybe I’m being unfair… the folks taking donations at the end of Dufferin said it’s a 5-year work in progress.  I’m just not sure where they are headed, or the demographic they are trying to draw.

    How do you feel about the new direction of the Winter Festival of Lights?

    Categories: Niagara Falls News

    Chills & Thrills! Icy illusion being taped near Falls Thursday

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Wanna be on TV? Bundle up and head down to Table Rock Thursday.

    Weather pending, a major illusion for an upcoming CBC magic special will be filmed at 7:30 p.m.

    Producers are being tightlipped about details, but it involves a local magician performing a huge (and dangerous) feat down by the falls involving fire, a giant icicle, a straitjacket, and a few surprises.

    How dangerous? Anyone under 18 is asked not to attend because of the intense nature.

    I don’t have any inside information, but this has to be another thing that Greg Frewin is doing. Unfortunately I won’t be able to get down there myself, but I’ll walk down there at lunch and take a picture of the setup.

    Looking forward to the future!


    Thank-you Graham.

    As Graham has mentioned. I have recently approached him about adding content to his site, simply to combine our efforts in keeping his visitors informed of the everyday changes (large or small) occurring throughout the tourist areas of Niagara Falls. My passion for Niagara Falls comes from a lifelong fascination with the falls themselves, as well as tall buildings and change itself. Although I did not grow up here, my memories of Niagara Falls are pretty much the same as all of Access Niagara’s visitors, in that we all share similar memories of the past. This is where I vacationed many times with my family growing up, as well as where I proposed to my wife in front of the Falls, and where I vacationed for the first time as a father. I look forward to this new venture, and I truly believe that this site will be the Niagara Falls go to site for the future.

    Lonny Bailey

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    Doubletree Resort Lodge & Spa Fallsview Marineland package

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    Marineland logo

    Marineland Splash Show

    A lot of the local hotels have packages that include local attractions. A common package includes passes to Marineland. I received an email recently from the Doubletree Resort Lodge & Spa Fallsview with information about a new Marineland package they have:

    This summer create long lasting family memories at Marineland, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The Doubletree Resort Lodge & Spa Fallsview offers a Marineland Family Package which includes; one night stay in selected room type, one $50 voucher for Buchanans Chophouse (on-site), two adult and one child (5-9 years of age) one day admission to Marineland Canada (2 miles away, transportation not included) Child 0-4 free admission. No refund on unused portion(s).

    The package is live on the Doubletree Resort Lodge & Spa Fallsview web site, under Hotel Specials.

    Categories: Niagara Falls News

    New projects offer hope for tourism industry

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It’s no secret that given the economic uncertainty in 2008, this year is expected to be a soft – read lousy – year for tourism.

    Gasoline prices are through the roof and they are expected to go even higher this summer. Food prices are also increasing, thanks in large part to the higher costs associated with gasoline and oil.

    When people spend more on the essentials, they have less to spend on their holiday. One U.S. study has concluded that American families planning to take a summer vacation is at a 30-year low. It’s no wonder.

    U.S. soldiers are dying in Iraq. The economy is in the tank.

    Yet, despite the doom and gloom, there is still reason to be optimistic about the future of the tourism industry in Niagara Falls.

    It’s nice to have an optimistic article every once in a while…

    Jay Cochrane Postpones Walk Once Again

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    Jay Cochrane has once again postponed his walk from the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort Hotel Tower to the Skylon Tower. Jay was ready to walk having previously given his okay on all of the equipment and one the platform when it was announced today walk was cancelled due to high winds.

    As can be seen in the following images, the flag behind Jay was standing right up, an indication of what he would be up against. Visible in the first image are many of the guide wires that Jay was unhappy about last week when he first postponed this Canadian record attempt.

    Jay Cochrane on his platform between the Niagara Fallsview Casino and Resort and the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls
    3:36 PMJay Cochrane making his decision to cancel today's walk between the Niagara Fallsview Casino and Resort and the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls
    3:37 PM

    A look through the trees to Jay Cochrane's  empty starting platform.
    3:39 PM

    John Daly to conquer Niagara Falls


    The City of Niagara Falls website has a press release for professional golfer John Daly. Daly plans on making an attempt at being the first person to hit a golf ball across the mighty Niagara. On August 3, 2005, as part of the opening of his Thundering Waters Golf Course, Daly will attempt to prove why he has won the driving distance title on the pro tour 11 times by driving a ball from the Canadian side of the Horseshoe Falls landing on American Soil.

    Thundering Waters Golf Course is a 7,322 yard course designed by John Daly in collaboration with Canadian golf architect Bo Danoff.

    John Daly’s Thundering Waters GC
    Presents a Grand Opening
    For the Ages in Niagara Falls

    For Immediate Release
    March 11, 2005

    NIAGARA FALLS, ON – John Daly will face the roar of Niagara Falls head on in August as he attempts to become the first person to drive a golf ball across the world famous Horseshoe Falls.

    Over the decades numerous people have attempted the “ultimate stunt” plunging over the falls in a barrel. Some have lived and many have died. Annie Taylor was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel and she survived back on October 24, 1901.

    A little more than a century later Daly will tee it up on August 3, 2005 as part of Grand Opening celebrations for Niagara’s Falls newest world-class golf property Thundering Waters Golf Club – A John Daly Signature Course. The British Open and PGA champion will attempt to connect on a drive that would make history as it crosses from the Canadian side of the Horseshoe Falls and lands in the United States of America.

    “I have hit some towering drives in my time but to try and clear Niagara Falls would be an awesome feat. I can’t wait to return to Canada for the Grand Opening of Thundering Waters. It’s going to be a historic day for many reasons,” Daly says. “Niagara Fall is one of the true Wonders of the World and one of the reasons I decided to design my first signature course in the area.”

    While Daly won’t be risking life and limb like those who have taken the plunge over the falls, it’s estimated that he’ll need to carry a drive of at least 350 yards in the air to cross the watery falls. Big John can grip it and rip it like no one else, but can he land it? “We’re hoping his drive will be heard around the world” says Frank Racioppo, Thundering Waters Golf Club Vice-President of Operations, who developed the concept after Daly first suggested the idea. “We were driving by the Falls last fall and John asked how far it was to the other side. We started talking about the concept of a long drive over the Falls and John thought it was a fabulous opportunity to create some excitement. He’s not someone who will back down from a challenge, so this should be a lot of fun and a memorable day for Niagara Falls.”

    Daly is one of the most recognized and popular members of the PGA Tour. “The Lion” as his friends on Tour know him is known primarily for his power on the course. Daly led the PGA Tour in driving distance for eight consecutive years and has won the title a record-setting 11 times. Heading into action this week on the PGA Tour, Daly’s longest recorded drive of the season stands at 382 yards, which has him in the top 20. In 2004 he recorded his longest drive ever on tour at 399 yards, but there’s a lot of fairway roll in those drives.

    Thundering Waters GC is located in the heart of the Niagara Falls tourist district some 1,500 yards from the brink of the thundering Canadian Horseshoe Falls and only three blocks from the new Niagara Fallsview Casino. It’s the second facility planned by Daly’s firm and his first in Canada. Some holes will be lengthy even by the standards of the world’s longest hitters. The par 72 course measures 7,322 yards, including a 661-yard par 5 hole from the back tees. Thundering Waters GC is also a member of the popular Niagara Golf Trail.

    Canadian golf course architect Bo Danoff has been the driving force working in tandem with John Daly throughout the design and construction process. Daly’s strategic input as a PGA Tour player consultant has added exciting risk/reward opportunities that should make the course the talk of the country. “I’ve seen a lot of architects and Bo is probably one of the greatest I’ve known,” Daly said of Danoff. “He’s a great talent and will be doing a lot of courses in the future.” The 18 hole design combines the parkland tranquility of Augusta National and the wind swept dunes of traditional British Open Championship courses. Sweeping fairways, undulated greens, sculpted bunkers and meandering creeks, all nestled between towering trees and mighty dunes that combine to create a true masterpiece.

    Fallsview Golf Inc., a Niagara Falls, ON-based company with extensive real estate and hospitality holdings in Canada and the United States, including the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel & Conference Centre, is developing the project.

    High-resolution images of Thundering Waters GC and John Daly are available upon request.

    For PDF Poster for the Grand Opening, click here

    For more information contact:
    Frank Racioppo
    Vice-President of Operations
    Thundering Waters GC – A John Daly Signature Course
    6000 Marineland Parkway
    Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
    905.357.6000 ext. 427
    (c) 905.380.6007
    (tf) 1.877.833.DALY (3259)

    Bo Danoff
    Danoff Golf Design Inc.
    Golf Course Architects

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