Tag: seneca niagara casino

    Lesson from Falls: Casinos are a gamble

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    From the Buffalo News:

    Cha-ching! That was the jubilant sound from across the state last week as politicians began counting up casino cash they hope will soon roll in. The Catskills rejoiced at hitting the jackpot. The Southern Tier was shocked to lose out, and struggling Atlantic City breathed a sigh of relief that New York’s three newest casinos won’t be nearer.

    But here’s a hard-luck tale that might make newly anointed casino towns think twice before counting their winnings. It begins with the same hopes for new jobs, boatloads of cash and an opportunity to rewrite the future. It ends, at least for now, with a city still struggling to pay its bills and more reliant on gambling dollars than ever.

    It was December 2002, and the doors of the Seneca Niagara Casino were just about to open. The City of Niagara Falls was a tattered tourist destination with a world-class waterfall, a place with as many vacant storefronts as memories of the way things once were. The casino, residents were told, would bring the jobs, construction and city revenue they had been chasing in failed development deals for years.

    But there were already signs the fine print wasn’t as good a deal as it could have been for the Falls.

    Niagara Festival of Lights 2014


    Every year since I was 8,  My family has spent Thanksgiving in upstate NY and then headed over the following Saturday to the Falls.  That means that we were there for the first Winter Festival of Lights in 1983.  This was long before casinos and mega hotels.  This was when the Festival was even celebrated on the American side, people!  We visited Rainbow Center and the Wintergarden.  THAT long ago.  In fact this is a picture of a display inside what WAS the Convention Center on the American side… and is now the Seneca Niagara Casino Resort…


    (I have more if you want to see them!)

    Needless to say, we have seen many changes over the years.  We saw the Disney displays arrive, grow, then go.  The kids my parents brought to Niagara every year have grown and gone on to marry.  There is now a third generation discovering the festival of Lights in the form of my niece and nephew who are even younger than we were when we started this Thanksgiving tradition.

    Here is what the display looked like in 2011. My niece’s first trip…

    Niagara Festival of Lights 2011

    There were Disney displays and that little village in front of Queen Victoria Place Gift Shop. That year that was a Carousel there too.  She saw the animals and animated displays at Dufferin island that we always enjoyed.  Noah’s ark was always a favorite.  The dinosaurs didn’t make sense outside of the fact that they appeared around the time Jurassic Park was out.  But I guess they have an appeal for little boys.

    Speaking of “appeal”, let’s talk about the new displays at Dufferin (pictures below).  While I appreciate the beauty, concept and engineering of the new displays – my niece started talking about “the banana”.  I didn’t get it at first, but then I realized that the abstract centerpiece did, indeed, look like a banana being peeled.

    Moose & banana

    Being a graphic designer and having worked in Marketing departments for 20 years, I could both appreciate what was being done here…and question what was being done here.  I’ll expound on that in a later post, but for now, I’ll wrap things up by saying I had a wonderful time with my family during this trip.  As always, Niagara kicked off our Christmas season with style, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without it.

    So long until next time, Niagara…..

    Family Overlooking Niagara Falls


    Hampton Inn Opens in Niagara Falls

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    From Hotel Business magazine:

    Hampton Hotels has opened its newest property, the 79-room Hampton Inn Niagara Falls/Blvd here.

    The hotel is owned by Falls Hotel, LLC. It is the third Hampton property in the Niagara Falls area and the 48th in the state.

    Located in the city’s business district, the hotel is in close proximity to the Niagara Falls International Airport and the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Niagara Falls State Park is four miles away and the Niagara Wine trail, Seneca and Niagara Casino are in close proximity to the hotel as well. Nearby attractions also include Martin’s Fantasy Island and the Niagara Aquarium.

    Seneca Niagara to unveil redesign

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    From WIVB Channel 4 in Buffalo:

    Big changes are coming to the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel Tuesday. The Seneca Gaming Corporation is set to unveil a $26 million redesign and upgrade for the Niagara Falls facility.

    Wayne Newton gets the keys to the Cataract City

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    This was from Friday. I would have liked to have been there but wasn’t able to make it.

    From ArtVoice.com:

    Mr. Las Vegas, Mr. Entertainment, whatever you call him, Wayne Newton was born to be a star. After tens of thousands of Vegas shows in a career that has spanned more than 50 years, Newton will receive a unique honor this Friday at the annual “Niagara Holiday Lights” on Old Falls Street, when he’s given the key to the city of Niagara Falls at 5pm. The 70-year-old entertainer will be in town to perform a string of seven holiday shows in five nights at the Seneca Niagara Casino.

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