Tag: city councillor

    CLOSEUP: Casino Niagara turns 20

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Some were fearful and skeptical.

    Others excited and optimistic.

    Wayne Thomson, mayor at the time, was caught in the middle, trying to convince the former group to join the latter.

    “I was a little nervous about running again for mayor,” says the current Niagara Falls city councillor.

    “But I came out extremely strong (reelected mayor by acclamation). In fact, I still remember one ad. I was full length, standing along the one side of the Review, talking about getting a casino and voting for the referendum.”

    In November 1994, 64 per cent of Niagara Falls residents who voted in a referendum said yes to casino gaming.

    A year later, Ontario Casino Corporation announced a commercial casino would be built in the Honeymoon Capital.

    Casino Niagara opened Dec. 9, 1996 — 20 years ago, Friday, on the site of the former Maple Leaf Village near Clifton Hill.

    Halt development charges for new hotels: Thomson

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Niagara Falls and Niagara Region should put a moratorium on development charges for new hotels in the Honeymoon Capital, says Wayne Thomson.

    The veteran city councillor said the time is right for the municipality and Region to take advantage of Americans flooding back to Niagara Falls thanks in large part to a favourable currency exchange.

    “I think that there’s an opportunity here and this is not something that’s simple — it would take a lot of effort on behalf of (Mayor Jim Diodati) and the staff, working with the Region,” said Thomson during a recent council meeting.

    Councillor seeks permanent falls backlighting

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    From Niagara This Week:

    Nik Wallenda’s walk across Niagara Falls nearly two weeks ago is still casting a glow over the city, one councillor said Tuesday.

    And councillor Wayne Thomson said he would like to see that glow carry over to the Horseshoe Falls itself — permanently.

    Thomson was impressed by the backlighting of the world famous cataract the night of the seventh-generation funambulist’s historic trek. The special lighting was done for television as the event was broadcast worldwide including on CTV in Canada and ABC in the United States.

    “The current illumination has had its day. Wallenda showed what it could be,” Thomson said at Tuesday’s council meeting as he put forward a motion asking for the city to talk will the Falls Illumination Board about backlighting the falls on a permanent basis.

    Steering in the right direction

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    A Niagara Falls councillor wants to steer visitors in the right … or left direction.

    Coun. Wayne Thomson wants the city, the Region, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission and the Ministry of Transportation to work together to allow motorists who cross the Rainbow Bridge to be able to make left hand turns onto Falls Ave.

    As it stands now, motorists leaving the bridge are forced onto Roberts St. and Highway 420.

    Sleep Cheap returns to Falls hotels

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    From Niagara This Week:

    Sleep Cheap, Charities Reap is back for its sixth year.

    Hotels started taking reservations on Monday for annual promotion that sees Niagara residents getting discounted rooms in Niagara Falls hotels over a four day period.
    This year, Sleep Cheap will be taking place over four nights: Nov. 15 through 18. Niagara residents who are 21 years of age and older can reserve a room at one of 28 participating hotels. City councillor and current mayoral candidate Jim Diodati organized this event six years ago and said each year it has been growing steadily.

    “It’s great to see it grow every year,” he said.

    More U.S. visitors come to Ontario

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    I’ve said this a couple of times this summer, but I didn’t have any hard numbers to back me up…

    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The latest figures from Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism show a modest increase in American visitation to Ontario during June compared to a year earlier when stricter border-crossing regulations came into full effect.

    Crossings from the United States to Ontario were up 7.8% in June. Sameday crossings increased 15.2% while overnight crossings were up 2.7% over the same month the year previous.

    Wayne Thomson, president of Niagara Falls Tourism, was caught off guard by the figures showing increases in June.

    “That’s extremely surprising,” said Thomson, a city councillor and former mayor of Niagara Falls. “That’s completely contrary to the feedback and the statistical information I have received from the major stakeholders.

    “There seemed to be satisfaction with January to May, and then a substantial dropoff in June, but July, August and September coming back.”

    Niagara Falls hotel rates fell 5% in 2009

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    A Niagara Falls vacation was a little cheaper in 2009 than it was the year before as hotel room rates dropped last year by about 5%, according to Hotels.ca,a hotel reservation agency that tracks prices across Canada.

    Lower room rates is a trend that should continue this summer as the hotel industry tries to recover from the recession, the effect of the high Canadian dollar and lingering confusion among Americans about travel documentation they need to have to return to their own country, said Wayne Thomson, chairman of Niagara Falls Tourism and a city councillor.

    “If anybody ever thought of coming to Niagara Falls, it’s the best bargain it has ever been,” Thomson said, reacting to the Hotels.careport.

    Hotels set their overnight room rates based on supply and demand. When it’s busy, rates go up. But when things are slow, rates go down.

    Parks commission opens up

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The Niagara Parks Commission wants to go public.

    After 124 years of meeting in private, commissioners voted unanimously Friday to open their doors to the public and the media.

    “I made a motion at the parks commission today that the meetings, in the spirit of openness and transparency … be open to the public and press,” said Vince Kerrio, a city councillor and the city’s representative on the 12- member provincial agency.

    Open meetings is the only way to dispel misconceptions about what goes on at meetings, he said.

    Sleep Cheap, Charities Reap 2009 is here!

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    I’m sorry I’m a couple of hours late on this…

    You can book rooms for Sleep Cheap as of 8 am this morning. There are 28 hotels participating, and a few other extras. The Niagara Falls Review reports about it this way:

    It’s time!

    The phone lines are now open for anyone ready to book a room during the fifth annual Sleep Cheap Charities Reap event.

    Founder and co-ordinator Jim Diodati started getting calls from people over the summer – all eager to know when the hotels will begin taking reservations.

    They also want to know if they’re eligible to join in.

    “You have to live in the Niagara Region to take part, but I keep getting calls from Simcoe, Toronto, Buffalo and beyond,” said Diodati, a city councillor.

    Local hoteliers will open their doors to Niagara residents at a reduced rate from Nov. 9 to 12.

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