From WKBW Channel 7 in Buffalo:
A proposed $15 million “beach and surf club” in downtown Niagara Falls has been tangled up in controversy over whether the developer “copied and pasted” artist renderings from a defunct project in Japan.
Developer Michael DiCienzo is seeking $4 million in public subsidies for his year-round surf club concept, which would be built on to his Sheraton hotel on Third Street and would include a retractable roof, a wave pool and even marine animals.
“[I’m] absolutely excited,” said Niagara Falls City Councilman Kenny Tompkins. “Can’t wait for something like this to come to fruition here in the Falls.”
From the Niagara Gazette:
A pair of projects in Niagara Falls will receive $400,000 in funding through the city’s economic development corporation.
Mayor Paul Dyster announced Tuesday that the Niagara Falls Development Corp. will issue $300,000 to NFNY Hotel Management, an affiliate company of bi-national hotelier Michael DiCienzo. The funds will be used in as part of a bid by the affiliated company, American Niagara Hospitality, LLC, to build a “Daredevil Water Park” on Third Street.
From Time Warner Cable News:
The space on 310 Rainbow Boulevard in Niagara Falls is the projected home of a future six-story, mixed use development, but as it stands today, it’s still just empty undeveloped space.
“It’s a large project it’s a very complex project and it’s taking considerably longer than anyone had anticipated to complete the financial arrangements,” Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said.
Hamister Group, LLC announced the general contractor in late June, and was hoping to break ground on the $35 million Hamister Hotel project over the summer.
However, months later there’s still no firm date for groundbreaking, and the approved project schedule continues to be pushed back
That’s why Michael DiCienzo of Niagara Falls New York Hotel Management wrote to the city, asking officials to consider letting his company develop the site instead.
From the Niagara Falls Review:
The New York side of Niagara Falls will never be what the Canadian side is, says Michael DiCienzo.
And the Niagara Falls developer understands that.
But it’s not deterring his company from plunking down $50 million on hotels and attractions on the US side.
“That could easily double,” says the Canadian Niagara Hotels developer. “The state of the city is really pro development right now. You can do a lot over there that can play to the size and scale of that market.”
DiCienzo’s company owns eight hotels in Canada — seven in Niagara Falls — including various attractions like the Rainforest Cafe, Planet Hollywood and the building housing Casino Niagara. He estimates his company has spent $800 million on Canadian development.
It’s been operating an affiliate company, Niagara Resorts, on the American side for almost 25 years and currently own two hotels and two restaurants.
His group is the first and largest group of Canadian investors in Niagara Falls, N.Y., although there are others dedicated to revamping older properties.
By fall, DiCienzo says he expects to start seeing changes on that side.
From Buffalo Business First:
What has long been rumored, concerning the primary restaurant and sports bar inside the newly-christened Sheraton Hotel in Niagara Falls, is now official.
Michael DiCienzo, Canadian Niagara Hotels vice president, said the Old Falls Street Sports Bar is being renovated and changed over to a TGIFriday’s restaurant and sports bar. TGIF’s will make its Cataract City debut in late June, DiCienzo said.
“We considered a number of brands, but we think this works the best,” DiCienzo said. “This fits best in terms of families staying at the hotel and those looking for a nice, casual place to eat.”
From the Niagara Falls Review:
A city council decision allowing the Hilton hotel to park guests’ cars on leased land could be headed to the Ontario Municipal Board after a competitor expressed his disappointment in the move.
“This certainly would be taken further,” said Michael DiCienzo, a vice-president with Canadian Niagara Hotels.
It’s another twist in the city’s contentious issue about ensuring enough parking in the expanding Fallsview tourist area.