Tag: economy

    Strong tourism start despite surging dollar

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    A top Niagara Falls tourism official is not concerned about the Canadian dollar’s surge to US80 cents this week amid a weakened U.S. dollar and further signs of a strengthening Canadian economy.

    “I don’t think it’s enough to discourage anybody from coming,” said Wayne Thomson, chairman of Niagara Falls Tourism.

    “I think 20 cents on the dollar is really not bad. They’d prefer 30 cents on the dollar, 32 cents, but 20 cents on the dollar is a pretty substantial reduction on (Americans’) travelling (costs to Canada) … so I don’t think we’re in any kind of concern at this point.”

    In Niagara Falls visit, Cuomo hails new hotel overlooking rapids

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    From the Buffalo News:

    Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday that a new 191-room hotel overlooking the Niagara River rapids was the latest evidence that the state’s efforts to strengthen the Niagara Falls economy are working.

    In a speech to nearly 200 local residents and officials, Cuomo said he wants Empire State Development to “step up to the plate” in Niagara Falls, carrying out a multi-pronged plan to boost the Cataract City’s economy.

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    Falls continues to ‘move the ball forward’: Mayor

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Niagara Falls continues to “move the ball forward” when it comes to growing the local economy and providing more opportunities for its residents and visitors, says Mayor Jim Diodati.

    “Our roots are firmly planted in the fundamentals of this city and making progress on our initiatives,” Diodati told a sold-out crowd at his State of the City address on Thursday afternoon.

    “We must always anticipate people throwing dirt on our ideas, but this dirt is actually essential for growth and for development.

    “Just watch us grow.”

    Massive tourism convention eyes Niagara Falls

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    A premier international tourism conference could bring an extra $3 million to the Niagara Falls economy if the city is chosen to play host to the 39th annual Rendez-vous Canada convention in 2015.

    And while negotiations are still ongoing, all that is left to do is dot the I’s and cross the T’s on a contract said Greg Klassen, vice-president of marketing for the Canadian Tourism Commission, the organization responsible for running the multiple-day conference each year.

    And away… WEGO!

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    From Niagara This Week:

    The replacement for the aging Peoplemover transit system in Niagara Falls now has a name — WEGO.

    The brand is meant to be a fun pairing of the words “we,” meaning friendship and social activity with “go” to emphasize adventure and exploration. The name was unveiled Thursday in a joint statement by the federal and provincial governments, the Niagara Parks Commission and the City of Niagara Falls. The name was chosen, the statement read, because it easily distinguishes the new Niagara Falls Visitor Transportation System from the conventional municipal system.

    “WEGO is another step forward for improving bus service in Niagara Falls,” said Niagara Falls MP and Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson, speaking on behalf of the federal government. “The new system will be a great benefit to the area; it will support the local economy, provide residents and visitors with greater transit options, reduce traffic congestion and support better air quality.”

    Wallenda taking his case to tourism minister

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The Niagara Parks Commission slammed the door on Nik Wallenda Wednesday, but a day later Minister of Tourism Michael Chan opened it up just a bit.

    Speaking with the Niagara Falls Review Thursday, the Ontario tourism minister invited Wallenda, a seventh-generation aerialist who wants to walk across the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope, to come and speak with him.

    “My door is always open. I welcome the opportunity to meet Mr. Wallenda,” said Chan, who confirmed he had nothing to do with the NPC’s decision to reject Wallenda’s proposal. “This particular project is under the watch of many, many people. It has huge interest around the world.”

    Asked if he would stand behind the NPC’s ruling, Chan seemed to leave the door open, saying there are big issues at play.

    “One of the major factors is economics. These are uncertain economic times. Jobs are important, the economy is important. That’s why, my door is open to listen to people,” he said.

    Wallenda makes high-wire walk case before Canada’s Niagara Parks panel

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    From the Buffalo News:

    After a lifetime of staring down death atop a high-wire, Nik Wallenda on Wednesday faced a different challenge: persuading Canadian officials to let him walk a wire across Niagara Falls.

    Unlike the high-wire acts that made his family famous, Wallenda won’t know for weeks whether this attempt was a success.

    Wallenda on Wednesday presented his wire-walking plan to Canada’s Niagara Parks Commission, which controls the area around the famous cataracts.

    “This isn’t a stunt to me,” Wallenda told the commission. “I’ve been doing this my whole life. This is life to me.”

    The event would draw between 60,000 and 125,000 spectators, depending on the weather, and infuse the economy with up to $20 million, said consultant Michael Harker.

    Political parties not ignoring tourism, say candidates

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Tourism may not be as prominent an issue in this provincial election as it was in 2007.

    But candidates representing the three major parties looking to form government after Oct. 6 are adamant they’re not overlooking an industry they say is so vital to Niagara’s economy.

    During the provincial election four years ago, tourism had its own section in the Liberal, Progressive Conservative and New Democratic platforms.

    For example, then PC leader John Tory promised more money for marketing.

    Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty pledged a “comprehensive competitiveness study,” which led to a $4-million report, which in turn led to the creation of regional tourism organizations tasked to make Ontario’s tourism industry more competitive with other destinations around the world.

    While there were specific promises for tourism in 2007, this time around, there are few.

    Tourism ‘flat’ in Falls

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It could be better. It could be worse.

    But with the peak season of tourism upon us, the general consensus among operators is business has been “mediocre” and “flat,” says Niagara Falls Tourism chairman Wayne Thomson.

    “Some of the properties are behind a little bit, or slightly ahead,” he said. “You certainly can’t get away from the U.S. visitors not coming. Everyone knows we have a problem in the U.S. with the economy and problems with respect to employment.”

    Thomson said Americans once made up about 65% of the visitors to Niagara Falls. He said it would be optimistic to think that figure is at 25% now.

    There are also a couple of good quotes from Tim Parker and Harry Oakes.

    I’m not privy to anyone’s sales numbers or guest counts, but based on the number of people I see around, I would have thought this year was up over last year.

    State Parks Commissioner Outlines Niagara Falls State Park Improvement Plans

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    From WKBW Channel 7 in Buffalo:

    New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey on Tuesday outlined a three-part plan to ensure that Niagara Falls State Park offers a welcoming and attractive visitor experience that matches the natural beauty of the Niagara River falls and gorge.

    “Governor Cuomo’s administration is fully committed to revitalizing New York’s economy, and Niagara Falls State Park is a critical part of the economic future of Western New York,” Harvey said. “The facilities at Niagara Falls State Park need to match the expectations of 8 million visitors coming from around the globe each year to see the iconic falls. State Parks staff takes great pride in the park and we will dedicate ourselves to improving and enhancing the facilities that complement the falls.”

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