Tag: mayor

Cultural hub a missing piece of city: Mayor

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

A new cultural hub announced in Mayor Jim Diodati’s state of the city speech Wednesday would be a “shared gathering space” for the community, and create a vastly improved Sylvia Place Farmer’s Market. Read More…

Casino operator controversy in Niagara

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From the St Thomas Times Journal:

Niagara’s mayor and regional chairman have asked the province to scrap plans to select new operators for the region’s two casinos.

In a letter to Finance Minister Charles Sousa, Mayor Jim Diodati and Niagara Regional Chairman Alan Caslin asked the government to terminate an ongoing request for pre-qualification and request for proposal process for a new service provider for Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino. Read More…

Public input to be welcomed for Goat Island development

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From WBFO News:

Niagara Falls mayor Paul Dyster has released a statement regarding the visitors lodge that has been proposed for Goat Island. Read More…

What do you love about your city?

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

What do you love about Niagara Falls?

The city of Niagara Falls has launched a new photo/video contest asking residents what makes Niagara Falls special to them.

“When you think of Niagara Falls, what puts a smile on your face?” asked Niagara Falls mayor Jim Diodati…

Contestants do not have to live in Niagara Falls, but must have a connection to the city

Niagara Falls launches Canada 150

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Toronto Maple Leafs legend Johnny Bower joined Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati on Friday to officially launch Canada 150 celebrations for Niagara Falls.

The duo raised a flag featuring the Canada 150 logo at Rosberg Family Park, the first of 150 events taking place in the city this year to mark 150 years since confederation.

“There will be 150 events in 150 days to celebrate 150 years and what better place than Niagara Falls to do just that,” Diodati said.

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.

Sam Roberts, Serena Ryder for New Year’s show

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Canadian rockers Serena Ryder and The Sam Roberts Band will headline this year’s free New Year’s Eve concert at Queen Victoria Park.

And if it seems like deja vu, that’s because both performers played the show just three years ago.

That concert, headlined by U.S. pop star Demi Lovato, was the second last time the show would be aired on Canadian TV. Following the 2014 event, headlined by Keith Urban, Global backed out of the broadcast, citing cost concerns.

Last year’s downsized concert featured Tom Cochrane, Dennis DeYoung and Alan Doyle, all of whom have played the show before.

But bringing back Ryder and Roberts isn’t a case of ‘familiarity breeds contempt,’ said Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati. Both acts are proven crowd favourites.

Border agency defends staffing, despite delays

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Border delays into Canada — sometimes topping an hour — are unacceptable, says Niagara Falls’ mayor.

And it’s not enough for the Canada Border Services Agency to average daily wait times, when peak-flow slowdowns are the issue.

“We seem to have a staffing challenge, as a result we don’t have enough booths open,” said Jim Diodati, expanding on similar comments recently made to Postmedia Network. “We’ve got significant and serious delays at the border.”

Delays during surges are not an excuse, said Diodati, who also says they may be related to rules requiring border officers to carry sidearms.

He suggests that, in turn, has resulted in students not being able to fill positions as summer relief.

Falls should ‘definitely’ look at hotel tax

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Niagara Falls should consider levying a new tax on hotel rooms to fund tourism initiatives and take the burden of local ratepayers, says Mayor Jim Diodati.

“Niagara Falls, N.Y. charges a bed tax in their hotels, and that’s how they fund their tourism,” said Diodati. “Niagara Falls (Ont.) should definitely have a look at that — if it’s allowed, if it’s to be used to market the destination and fund Niagara Falls Tourism, which is the city’s marketing agency for tourism.”

Documents obtained exclusively by the Toronto Sun show city officials in Toronto have been working for months to get permission from the Ontario government to levy new local taxes, and Premier Kathleen Wynne has already promised Toronto Mayor John Tory — should council approve — a new tax on hotel rooms.

Lots and lots of links about the Destination Marketing Fee (DMF) in Niagara Falls

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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:

DMF: The hidden fee (Part 1)

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.

DMF: The hidden fee (Part 2)

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.

DMF: The hidden fee (Part 3)

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.

How to complain about the DMF

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.

Falls councillors weigh in on DMF

“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

Ministry, tourism industry discussing DMF

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.

Falls tourism stakeholders discussing DMF

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.

EDITORIAL: Solving the DMF puzzle is up to the province

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.”

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