Tag: renovations

    Marineland bows out of CAZA

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Marineland is voluntarily withdrawing its membership with the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) a month before its re-accreditation process.

    A statement released this week by the Niagara Falls park says “extensive work” to be done this summer in a previously undeveloped area will “materially impact” its re-accreditation.

    The process “will not accomplish the mutual goals of Marineland and CAZA at this time period.”

    When asked for clarification, CAZA spokeswoman Ashley McArthur Street suggested all follow-up questions be deferred to Marineland, and provided a link to a current list of accredited facilities.

    Marineland’s statement stressed the park “remains firmly committed to CAZA,” and is withdrawing its membership “to permit the expansion work to be completed and new operations harmonized with CAZA.”

    Details of the expansion were not provided.

    See also:

    Update on construction at Starbucks on Murray St

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    I have previously posted about some renovations going on at the Starbucks on Murray St and the one inside the Skylon Tower. With regards to the one outside, I couldn’t tell if it was still going to be a Starbucks, or if it was changing. Well, it looks like they’ve just been updating it to the latest colours and style.

    Renovations at Starbucks inside Skylon Tower

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    Last week I posted about the Starbucks at the Skylon Tower complex on Murray St and how it was undergoing some renovations. Trevor Shaw reminded me there is a Starbucks inside. I stopped by the other day to check it out, and it too is under renovations.

    Renovations at Sweets & Treats and Spuds Hot Dogs

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    On Clifton Hill beside the Fudge Factory and underneath Boston Pizza are a couple of concessions… Sweets & Treats and Spuds Hot Dogs. They are currently closed, undergoing some kind of renovations.

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    Sparks Steakhouse and Maharaja Grand replaces Beef Baron

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    I make it to a lot of places in the Niagara Falls tourist district, but sometimes I miss the obvious. A perfect example…
    I have been seeing signs around for Sparks Steakhouse, and never paid much attention to them. Then recently, while I was walking along Centre St, I noticed that the Beef Baron was no longer called Beef Baron. It is now Sparks Steakhouse and Maharaja Grand.

    The Beef Baron website does not say that it is closed permanently. It says it is closed for renovations.

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    I don’t know if I ever ate at Beef Baron, but my parents had, and my father loved it. I’m sure Sparks and Maharaja Grand are both very nice as well.

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    20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium

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    One week ago my family headed out to check out the Ripley’s attractions in Niagara Falls. These include Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, Ripley’s Moving Theater, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. Our last stop was Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium.

    Note: To view images from our trip, visit the 20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium – Image Gallery posting.

    This was the attraction that we were most anxious to visit as it had just re-opened after many months of renovations. I had been to the old Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum several times over the years. Although the attraction was always interesting, it just had kind of an old/dated feel to it. We were really looking forward to seeing the new Odditorium. We were not disappointed!

    20160620_190829.jpg The entire attraction has been completely redone, and it looks fantastic. It has been enlarged, the ceilings seem higher, and everything is much brighter.

    The odditorium has been divided into a variety of different rooms with similar themes. There are rooms that focus on strange animals, odd habits, art, and many other oddities. There are classic exhibits (shrunken heads, lint art, etc), and much more modern exhibits. It truly is filled with interactive displays, starting right in the lobby. My daughter loved the water pipe display. You can press buttons and turn knobs to make water flow, stop, change colour, and more. There was a place where you could try to fold yourself into a box, sit in Robert Wadlow’s giant chair, and stand next to the world’s shortest person.

    20160620_191757.jpg The Erik Sprague exhibit is a great example of the layout. Erik Sprague is also called the Lizardman and he has done some extreme body modification. The exhibit is brightly lit, has a life-sized figure of him, and shows a video of some of his performances. It’s amazing. My wife also liked some of the classic exhibits that show the African neck rings, stretched lips andears and foot binding.

    20160620_192714.jpg One of the exhibits that was new from just before the renovation was the Wigan Micro Sculptures. Willard Wigan creates micro sculptures that fit within the eye of a needle. This is where the name of the odditorium really comes into play… believe it or not! It really is unbelievable that this is even possible. However they have a variety of microscopes and sure enough, there are small little carvings that really do fit into the eye of the needle. Wow!!

    20160620_194947.jpg One of the best  additions to the attraction is new “play” area. I think my kids could have played there for hours. There is a mind-bending “vortex tunnel” that was totally dizzying. There are other interactive games to play such as plastic pin art, a photo silhouette wall, and more. The evening we were there wasn’t particularly busy, but there were at least a dozen or more people in this area and no one seemed to be in a rush to leave.

    20160620_194509.jpg I can’t recommend Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium enough! It was super fun and there was definitely something there for all members of my family. As has been mentioned in the other postings, the best deal is to get the 3 Attraction Flex Ticket. If you are interested in a single admission, at the time of this write-up on their website adult tickets are $17.99, senior tickets are $14.99 and child tickets are $10.99. Be sure to check out the Ripley’s web site for the latest information.

    Note: To view images from our trip, visit the 20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium – Image Gallery posting.

    Ripley’s reopens after modern makeover

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    From Niagara This Week:

    Oddball items and curiosities are back on display in Niagara Falls, Ont., now that one of the city’s mainstay attractions has reopened following a major modernization.

    Ripley’s Believe It or Not opened the doors to its so-called “odditorium” Friday after six months of renovations aimed at replacing traditional exhibits with something more hands-on.

    The revamped attraction features interactive exhibits, including one that allows visitors to simulate walking a tightrope over the iconic falls.

    Another exhibit, the Niagara Water Wall, has visitors control the flow, colour and shape of the water using wheels and cranks.

    The museum’s manager, Tim Parker, says it’s the most drastic change the space has undergone in years.

    Major changes for Clifton Hill

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Expect to see some multi-million dollar changes taking place near the top of Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls.

    Older buildings like the Comfort Inn are slated for demolition, businesses like Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum and Kelsey’s Restaurant are being renovated or expanded, and new interactive entertainment features are being added to the mix.

    “Once the Comfort Inn is removed we will have a four-acre site available and that’s going to be expansion for our Clifton Hill entertainment facilities,” said Harry Oakes, president of Hoco Limited, that owns and operates a number of attractions, restaurants and shops on the south side of the street.

    The Comfort Inn closed early last month, all the essential services were cut off on Monday, and large excavators were expected to be on site Wednesday or Thursday to begin taking down the building.

    “We are going to be busy this winter so we are just cranking up right now,” said Oakes. “It’s kind of the next phase in our multi-plan, master plan that we have for the whole site. The construction that is going to take place over the next several months is about 20,000-square feet of renovations and about 30,000-square feet of new buildings, along with extensive streetscape site work.”

    More upgrades planned for Niagara Falls State Park

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    From the Buffalo News:

    Niagara Falls State Park will see an additional $15 million in renovations through the end of 2017, on top of the previously announced $25 million in work, state parks officials said Wednesday.

    See also:

    • WIVB Channel 4 in Buffalo – Officials preview plans for Falls park
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