Tag: buffalo news

Despite 8 million tourists, Niagara Falls taxis and liveries fight to survive

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From the Buffalo News:

Driving a taxicab in a city that welcomes more than eight million tourists a year might seem like a lucrative business – and that might have been true at one time.

But today, owners of taxi and livery companies in Niagara Falls are battling over a piece of a shrinking pie.

Most tourists who come to Niagara Falls arrive either by car or in tour buses, studies have long shown, and have no need for a cab. And many of the major hotels operate shuttles for their guests.

State and local governments even fund a hop-on, hop-off shuttle that connects downtown Niagara Falls to Fort Niagara in Youngstown, and that hits all of the major stops along the Niagara River.

And now, since June 29 with the state’s legalization of ride-hailing services, private vehicle owners who sign up with Uber and Lyft have been able to join the competition.

The $205 million Falls hotel that no one wants to talk about

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From the Buffalo News:

Niagara Falls Redevelopment has submitted a plan for a $205 million hotel in downtown Niagara Falls.

Normally, city officials said, such a large project would be announced with plenty of hype. But in this case, the plans were simply dropped off at the city planning office on a Friday afternoon.

“Usually, when somebody proposes a $200 million anything, there’s a lot of fanfare,” city Planning Director Thomas DeSantis said. “Read into that what you will. It’s odd. It’s clearly unconventional.”

Shuttle ferries visitors from around the world to Niagara’s attractions

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From the Buffalo News:

Outside the arched windows of the Discover Niagara Shuttle, the sights passed by – the Rainbow Bridge, the quaint shops of Lewiston, the Power Vista, a living quilt stitched together by glimpses of the green water of the Niagara River.

Inside the shuttle were people from all over the world.

They gazed at the passing scene, studied the fold-out maps that outlined each stop on the shuttle route, or watched the screen in the front of the car, which played a video loop about the attractions and business partners.

Since urban renewal ripped out the heart of downtown Niagara Falls in the 1970s, tourism experts have faced the challenge of keeping visitors for longer than the hours it takes to see the falls, ride the Maid of the Mist and maybe see the Cave of the Winds.

Sean Kirst: The soul of Niagara Falls, revealed at dawn

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From the Buffalo News:

They had dreamed of seeing Niagara Falls since they were children in Zimbabwe, on the other side of the Atlantic. Last week, while visiting friends in Ohio, James and Sta Maodzwa decided they would make the trip to Niagara.

Accompanied by their nephew Tongai and their 12-year-old son Ngoni, they booked a room at the Holiday Inn and then walked to the falls in the middle of the day. It was beautiful, but buses rumbled behind them and tourist groups pushed up to the railing. The bustle around the brink, the many visitors bumping around as they stretched and shouldered and did their best to take “selfies,” made it difficult for the couple to really focus on the natural majesty a few feet away.

Niagara Falls Days Inn to unveil new ‘sky suites’

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From the Buffalo News:

A downtown Niagara Falls hotel will unveil the results of a six-month-long makeover of its top floor Thursday.

The Days Inn at the Falls, 443 Main St., will show off four Diamond Sky Suites and 16 premium guest rooms on the eighth floor, in space that previously was a banquet room. The new rooms and suites increase the Days Inn’s room total to 188, said Maggie Barnett, director of e-commerce and marketing.

WildPlay Whirlpool Adventure Course opens in Niagara Falls, Ont.

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From the Buffalo News:

WildPlay Whirlpool Adventure Course to Niagara, a new outdoor adventure attraction, opens June 16.

The course will provide visitors with new ways to interpret and experience the Niagara Gorge, Niagara Glen and Whirlpool Rapids, said Janice Thomson, chairwoman of the Niagara Parks Commission. It includes aerial obstacles and ziplines securely suspended above the Gorge and Whirlpool.

Twisted Olives restaurant opens in Niagara Falls hotel

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From the Buffalo News:

A new restaurant opened two weeks ago in the Wingate by Wyndham Niagara Falls, a hotel on Rainbow Boulevard.

Twisted Olives, 333 Rainbow Blvd., boasts some of the roomiest patios downtown, with a total of 135 feet of patios stretching along two sides of the building.

Despite its hotel location, the restaurant has so far drawn many Niagara Falls residents, said Kristen Clark, managing partner.

Chewbacca actor roars into Niagara Falls Comic Con

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From the Buffalo News:

Few people could have predicted how massive the “Star Wars” phenomenon would become when it was released 40 years ago. It certainly boosted the profile of Peter Mayhew, the 7’3” English actor who played the iconic Chewbacca in the space adventure series. Mayhew will be one of the featured guests at Niagara Falls Comic Con June 2-4.

During a recent phone interview, Mayhew said he’s looking forward to returning to Niagara Falls, Ont. for the three-day convention. When asked how many years has he been touring on the convention circuit, he laughed and said, “Too many. It’s been a long time (since I’ve been in Niagara Falls). I was quite amazed the first time I went up there and saw all the water and the whole lake.”

Niagara Falls may have more visitors than it thought

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From the Buffalo News:

Niagara Falls tourism officials customarily say that their city draws 8 million visitors a year, but a new study may show the figure may be larger than that.

A consultant estimates 7.3 million Americans visited Niagara Falls last year. Longwoods International is still working on numbers for Canadian and other foreign tourists, said John H. Percy Jr., president of Destination Niagara.

Consultant hired to study feasibility of events center in Niagara Falls

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From the Buffalo News:

A Minneapolis consulting firm, Conventions, Sports & Leisure International, has been hired to study the feasibility of a sports and events facility for the City of Niagara Falls.

The consultant has been directed to deliver the report by Oct. 1, according to Samuel M. Ferraro, Niagara County economic development commissioner. The $113,000 cost will be split equally among the county, city and state.

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