From the Niagara Falls Review:
Three high rise hotels could soon be added to the fallsview skyline.
Canadian Niagara Hotels has applied to the city for a zoning by-law amendment to allow for the development of a 56-storey hotel and two 35-storey hotels on Robinson Street.
The existing by-law allows for a 30-storey height limit, but taller buildings can be considered if no adverse impacts are created by the development such as shadowing on residential areas and green spaces and encroachments on the view of the falls.
Currently, the tallest hotel in the city is the 56-storey Hilton Hotel & Suites on Fallsview Boulevard. The nearby Embassy Suites Hotel has 43 storeys.
From the Niagara Falls Review:
Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Grant Fuhr and retired Toronto Blue Jays star outfielder Jesse Barfield will be in Niagara Falls in June to meet fans, take questions and sign autographs.
Fuhr will be at Ruth’s Chris Steak House June 13 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., while Barfield will be at the Fallsview Boulevard restaurant and lounge within the Four Points hotel June 14 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The appearances are part of the Fallsview Group’s Legends of the Game series, which recently brought former Toronto Maple Leafs fan favourite Wendel Clark and former Blue Jays fan favourite and Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar to the city.
You may have noticed an old house on Robinson St that appears to have a lot of spray paint graffiti on it. This is actually artwork. “Robinson House” is a public aerosol art installation located on Robinson Street at the corner of Fallsview Boulevard. It is a collaboration between the DoubleTree Fallsview Resort & Spa by Hilton Niagara Falls and local artists, in support of the arts in Niagara. DoubleTree is also home to the free public art gallery- Ochre Gallery, located on the lobby level. The small gallery is anchored by a nine foot totem pole carved in cedar. DoubleTree Niagara Falls is a full service 224 room hotel which caters to the travelling public looking for a four star experience at an affordable rate.”
From Niagara Falls Review:
There’ll be a prehistoric addition to this year’s Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights.
Among the new additions to the 34th edition of the festival will be a 10-foot-tall 3D woolly mammoth as part of the Canadian wildlife displays at Dufferin Islands…
The expanded eight-kilometre illumination route runs along the Niagara Parkway as well as the surrounding districts of Fallsview Boulevard, Victoria Centre, Clifton Hill and Lundy’s Lane.
“For over three decades now, countless local residents and businesses have come together to support and promote what we feel is the best winter festival celebration anywhere,” Niagara Parks Commission chairwoman Janice Thomson said Thursday at a press conference at the Floral Showhouse.
The provincial agency this year invested $300,000 on lighting, programming and infrastructure improvements within Queen Victoria Park.
From the Niagara Falls Review:
The city is looking at how the Fallsview and Victoria Centre districts could be better connected in the future.
“We’re looking at traffic improvements and how we can make turning movements at the intersection of Ferry Street and Fallsview (Boulevard) safer for pedestrians to cross, and also to make the traffic movements easier for routing services like the Wego,” said Geoff Holman, the city’s director of municipal works.
Holman said at first, the city was just looking at replacing a watermain in the area. But after receiving comments from businesses, municipal staff began to look at the condition of the road, traffic safety, and it “kind of evolved into a larger project.
“We’ve examined a number of different alternatives to make improvements there, and one of the alternatives that we’re bringing forward will be to look at making it a three-legged intersection, so it’ll be like a T-intersection (involving Fallsview Boulevard, Ferry Street and Buchanan Avenue),” he said.
If you are interested in Niagara Falls, then you probably saw some of the articles that the Niagara Falls Review had about the Destination Marketing Fee (or DMF). It is essentially a fee that many tourism companies charge that can be used for whatever that company wants. It is not a true tax, there is no industry standard for how it is used, and it annoys a lot of people.
Here are links to most of the articles (all of them from the Niagara Falls Review:
It is the first day of March break, and the hockey moms aren’t happy.
They’re spending the week in Niagara Falls for a tournament, and they’re stumped about a mysterious charge that keeps appearing on their bills.
As they sit in a lobby overlooking Fallsview Boulevard, there it is again on their Starbucks bill, an extra amount on top of the already inflated price they paid for coffee in the tourist district.
On a $14-bill is an extra $1.18 for something called a TIF. On other bills it’s called a PF. Or DMP. Or a DMDF. Or DMF.
The provincial government has heard the complaints about the Destination Marketing Program.
Tourism Minister Michael Coteau was asked about the controversial fee during a recent visit to Niagara Falls. He admits there are issues that need attention, but didn’t outline a concrete plan to fix them.
“I’m exploring different ways to bring forward some more clarity on that one piece throughout Ontario,” he said, of what many perceive to be a lack of transparency around the voluntary marketing fee that businesses in tourist districts are allowed to charge, but which customers are also legally allowed to refuse to pay.
Some of the biggest players in the Niagara Falls tourism industry don’t charge the controversial Destination Marketing Fee.
Niagara Casinos. Harry Oakes. Hornblower. The Niagara Parks Commission.
And some businesses in the Honeymoon Capital are going to put up, or are considering putting up, signs to let guests know they don’t charge it.
The DMF is a voluntary industry-led initiative for supporting regional tourism marketing, development.
They are voluntary fees, not taxes, and consumers have the right to ask to have the fee removed from their bill.
Province encourages tourism organizations and tourism partners to work collaboratively.
Participating businesses are required to adhere to regulations under Consumer Protection Act.
Consumers feeling misled can call with complaints and inquiries: 1-800-889-9768.
“There’s just some concerns and I think it’s important the tourism industry come together and manage this before another level of government steps in and tries to manage it for them, and control it for them.” – Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati
“There seems to be some mystery that these people in the industry aren’t spending the money on marketing and events, and that is false.” – Coun. Wayne Thomson, who is also chairman of Niagara Falls Tourism
The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and industry partners are reviewing the controversial Destination Marketing Fee.
Ministry spokesperson Denelle Balfour said the program is being looked at during ongoing focus sessions across the province.
She said the ministry is leading the development of a strategic framework for tourism in Ontario in collaboration with industry partners. As part of this work, the ministry is hosting focus sessions for members of the tourism industry, including in Niagara Falls.
Some of the big players in the Niagara Falls tourism industry are “talking seriously” about the Destination Marketing Fee, says Niagara Falls Tourism chairman Wayne Thomson.
“The major stakeholders are getting together and getting a legal opinion on the DMF details, and trying to come up with a format that is going to be certainly transparent, which we think it is now,” said Thomson.
“I can tell you that we are talking seriously about the DMF and trying to come up with something that is compatible with … (the stakeholders’) needs and their marketing efforts, and that is compatible with what the province would like to see.”
The dialogue is a result of Tourism Minister Michael Coteau’s recent visit to Niagara Falls, where he spoke to industry partners about many tourism-related topics.
It’s starting to happen already – more tourists and customers visiting Niagara Falls shops and hotels are asking if they’ll be charged a destination marketing fee with their purchase.
And how are the desk clerks and wait staff and ticket takers supposed to answer?
“Well, we don’t charge it but the guy next door does.”
Or maybe, “we do charge it and so does the guy next door, but at least our fee is smaller than his.”
From Niagara This Week:
Residents and visitors looking for a little fun have a new play where they can play.
The Fun Zone is a new arcade and game experience located at the Four Points Sheraton on Fallsview Boulevard and in the words of manager Nick Gentilcore, “there’s nothing else like it on the street.
“The closest place you can go for something like this is on Clifton Hill,” Gentilcore said above the din of bells, whistles and paint ball guns. ”We brought a little piece of Clifton Hill here.”