From the Niagara Falls Review:
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours launched five jet boats into the Niagara River Tuesday to get prepared for the summer season of taking people into the river rapids. Read More…
From the Niagara Falls Review:
The boats are under construction and Hornblower Niagara Cruises is already looking for people to hire for their first season of operation in 2014.
From their temporary office on St. Clair Ave., in downtown Niagara Falls, Madalena Phillips and Maria Melo are busy working behind the scenes putting systems in place so that things will run smoothly when their company begins to ferry passengers in the lower Niagara River to the base of the Horseshoe Falls.
As long as I can remember going to Niagara Falls, it included a trip on the Maid of the Mist. I can remember getting the smelly old Jackets from way back. You put it on, took the tour and put it back for others to use. In 2014 the era of the Maid of the Mist end, well at least in Niagara Falls Canada. James Glynn Owner of the Maid of the Mist never had to bid on running his business until last year and he lost. (In Canada). Governor Cuomo of New York State is trying to keep the Maid of the Mist in New York. Having lost the Canadian side, Glynn is now looking for a place on the American side to store his boats to keep his New York business alive. Glynn’s hopes center around the state-owned former Schoellkopf Power Plant.
You can check out a great article on the Niagara Falls Reporter website.
From the Buffalo News:
Though Maid of the Mist boats have been shuffling tourists to the base of Niagara Falls for 126 consecutive years, their future on the American and Canadian sides of the cataracts remains uncertain.
In six weeks, the tourism company will find out if it can continue those tours, or whether the Canadian government will award a 25-year lease to another company, possibly with different ideas for the real estate around the cataracts.
“We’re still in the review process,” interim Niagara Parks Commission Chairwoman Janice Thomson said today.
The government had hoped to make a decision by the end of 2011, but needs five or six more weeks, Thomson said.
Some of the comments after the article are worth looking at…
From WIVB Channel 4 in Buffalo (including video):
The Niagara Parks Commission is buying more time before it decides who will award a lease to operate the premier attraction at Niagara Falls, the Maid of the Mist boats.
It has taken the commission more than 11 months to mull the matter, but it says it needs another five or six weeks before deciding who will be awarded the 25- year lease to run the boats at the base of the Horseshoe Falls.
From Buffalo Business First:
The 2011 season for the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Corp. began Wednesday morning.
But the bigger question is whether this will be the last year that the Niagara Falls, N.Y.-based company will be permitted to run its boats from the U.S. and Canadian shores of the lower Niagara River.
At issue is a 2008 renewal that the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Corp. signed with the Niagara Parks Commission to continue to pick up and drop off passengers on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. Potential competitors cried foul over what they perceived as a no-bid process that saw the pact renewed.
The issue morphed into a political hot button in Niagara Falls, Ont., with the parks commission ultimately deciding to withdraw the deal and put the tour-boat operations out to bid. The bids were issued last fall, and 18 firms including Maid of the Mist Steamboat Corp. are believed to have responded. The parks commission has declined to formally identify any of the bidders.