Category: Niagara Falls News

    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.

    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.

    No Jay walking this summer

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It was supposed to be famed wirewalker Jay Cochrane’s fourth summer performing in Niagara Falls. But now he’s making other vacation plans.

    What would have been a spectacular daily walk from the top of the Skylon Tower to the top of the new Niagara Falls Hilton on Fallsview Boulevard was derailed when the Fallsview BIA recently voted not to contribute toward the $250,000 price tag to bring Cochrane back to town.

    “It’s such a shame,” he said over the phone from Florida. “I think some people live in a box.”

    The plan would have seen Cochrane, 65, walk between the two buildings once a day, sometimes twice, for a total of 70 walks this summer. He believes it would have been the highest (55 storeys) and longest (450 metres) wirewalk in history between two man-made structures.

    Cochrane’s three previous visits, in 2002, 2005 and 2007, generated massive publicity for Niagara Falls.

    Pitt and sons: Legends at the Falls

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    From the Buffalo News:

    People magazine may have named him “Sexiest Man Alive” twice, but even Brad Pitt looked a little goofy in his blue Maid of the Mist poncho.

    The superstar actor was in Niagara Falls, Ont., on a picture-perfect afternoon to take in the sights of the world-famous cataracts Saturday. In tow were two of his sons, Maddox and Pax; his parents, Bill and Jane, and his bodyguards. The group enjoyed the attractions while remaining relatively under the radar.

    Note: There have been all sorts of articles out there about this, but most of them are wire service copies of this original article.

    60 stories would be height limit within Falls


    From the Buffalo News:

    A new system of tiered building heights proposed for the downtown commercial district would allow buildings as tall as 60 stories on some blocks under a newly revised set of proposed zoning codes.

    Allowing even taller buildings on some city streets closest to the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel was an attempt to strike a balance between an earlier proposal approved by the Planning Board and concerns from the City Council about restricting downtown development.

    The previous proposal would have allowed buildings as tall as 30 stories on some blocks — 10 stories taller than what is currently permitted — but was criticized by some as placing too many limitations on building heights.

    “I think that this is an excellent compromise,” said Planning Board member Michael F. Lewis.

    Council made right choice to get people mover rolling

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It’s never easy to give up on a dream, but the city has made the right decision in dropping the monorail idea for people mover system for the tourism sector in Niagara democracies. Falls.

    A monorail is something that has been on the minds of city leaders for decades. In fact, a small section of monorail once occupied a short stretch of the escarpment in the Fallsview area near the Horseshoe Falls incline railway. It was to serve as a prototype, but it never captured the imagination of investors and he went the way of the dinosaur.

    Although a monorail has been ruled out, there is still support (and $ 25 million in federal funding) for some type of people mover system.

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