As people may be aware, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Maid of the Mist will sport pink ponchos October 19-21 in support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
From the Niagara Gazette:
The Stanley Cup sure gets around.
It has been in strip clubs, bedrooms, showers, the bottom of swimming pools and on television shows such as Letterman, Leno and Howard Stern, but on Wednesday it was in Niagara Falls playing tourist by taking a ride on the world-famous Maid of the Mist boat.
From the Niagara Falls Reporter:
Chalk up a victory for justice and the Niagara Falls Reporter — whose articles on Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) and their secret arrangements with James Glynn, longtime owner of the Maid of the Mist — led to more than the unraveling of his lease.
Last week, four NPC commissioners, including staunch Glynn ally Archie Katzman, were fired by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism. Katzman sat on the board for 40 years. The others were Fred Louws, Italia Gilberti and Ed Werner.
NPC General Manager John Kernahan announced he would retire effective immediately. He had been there 12 years. NPC Business Development Director Joel Noden, Kernahan’s righthand man, was unceremoniously fired from his $130,000 job after 13 years. Prior to that, there was the resignation of NPC Chairman Jim Williams, who was replaced by accountant Fay Booker.
In short, all the architects of the Maid of the Mist secret lease arrangements are gone at the NPC.
From the Niagara Falls Review:
The document that will spell out what the Niagara Parks Commission wants from a boat tour provider is on target for release in the next few weeks, says commission general manager John Kernahan.
“It’s coming along very well. I think we’re going to be on or very close to our target of late July or early August to release the RFP (request for proposals),” Kernahan said.
But Bill Mocsan, the consultant hired by the provincial government to help guide the parks commission through the process, wouldn’t say when the document will be issued.
He said Monday telling The Review might allow one bidder to find out sooner than another.
Eleven companies took part in an April session to find out more about the bidding process, though it doesn’t mean all of them will submit bids when the parks commission issues its request for proposals.
From the Canadian Press (via Penticton Herald):
Getting competitive bids for one of the world’s oldest and most famous tourist attractions – the Maid of the Mist boats in Niagara Falls – may not be as straight forward a proposal as the Ontario government hopes.
The Niagara Parks Commission came under fire last year for giving the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Company an untendered, 25-year renewal on the contract to operate the boats that ferry tourists from both sides of the international border up to the thundering waterfalls.
The commission’s timing couldn’t have been worse politically. The Liberal government was under siege because of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of untendered contracts given out by one of its agencies, eHealth Ontario.
The province told the parks commission to review the decision to not to seek competitive bids, but the commission upheld the deal a second time. The government then cancelled the contract and ordered the NPC to put it out for tenders, a move that caught Maid of the Mist owner and existing lease-holder Chris Glynn off guard.
From the Buffalo News:
People magazine may have named him “Sexiest Man Alive” twice, but even Brad Pitt looked a little goofy in his blue Maid of the Mist poncho.
The superstar actor was in Niagara Falls, Ont., on a picture-perfect afternoon to take in the sights of the world-famous cataracts Saturday. In tow were two of his sons, Maddox and Pax; his parents, Bill and Jane, and his bodyguards. The group enjoyed the attractions while remaining relatively under the radar.
Note: There have been all sorts of articles out there about this, but most of them are wire service copies of this original article.
From the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal:
This year, like so many other years before it, Maid of the Mist Corp. helped mark the unofficial start of spring in Western New York and Southern Ontario by lowering its fleet of boats into the lower Niagara River on Friday.
The company has been preparing for tourism seasons much the same way since launching its first steamboat back in 1846.
And while some argue that’s too long for any one company to have a virtual lock on one of the region’s premiere tourist attractions, representatives say the Maid of the Mist’s lengthy record of success and safety has earned it the right to continue to serve as the one and only operator of boat tours beneath mighty Niagara Falls.