Tag: state officials

    Projects expected to add roughly 950 new high-end rooms to the Falls

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    From the Niagara Gazette:

    Finding an upscale hotel experience on the American side of Niagara Falls has been a challenge for many years, but it will soon be getting a little easier.

    With seven hotel projects either planned or already under way, downtown will see about 950 new or renovated rooms, all of those providing higher-end accommodations, in the coming years.

    And upscale is exactly what downtown needs, according to local and state officials.

    Luna and Three Sisters islands at Falls to see improvements

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    From the Niagara Gazette:

    Some of the most popular locations at the Niagara Falls State Park will be closed to the public for a while as workers began nearly $3.2 million in renovations.

    State officials and local politicians gathered at a park press conference Tuesday to announce what were called “much needed renovations” at Luna Island and Three Sisters Island. The islands will be receiving new pedestrian walkways, overlook improvements, enhanced landscaping, new benches, light posts and railings, among other improvements.

    Wire-walk seen of more benefit to Falls, Ont.

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    From the Buffalo News:

    When Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope above Niagara Falls this summer, an unprecedented stream of spectators is expected to flock to the mighty cataracts.

    Many of them should carry a passport. Niagara Falls State Park may have a clear viewing area for only 20,000 visitors, according to initial estimates, while Canadian officials could welcome more than 100,000 people to their prime seat at the Horseshoe Falls.

    While state officials Monday pledged a “spectacular” show on the American side, others believe the estimates confirm that, for a number of reasons, Ontario stands to benefit most from the stunt.

    “It’s a good problem to have: too many people,” said Jim Diodati, the mayor of Niagara Falls, Ont. “It’s a problem we had before 9/11. We’re happy to have it again.”

    Old power plant site eyed for Maid of Mist storage

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    From the Buffalo News:

    Maid of the Mist officials intend to keep their American tour boat operation afloat by building a storage facility on the site of the former Schoellkopf Power Plant near the falls.

    But state officials, pointing to red tape, environmental hurdles and timing, have not warmed to the idea.

    The plan, company officials said Thursday, is to build steel carriages to store boats during the icy winter months. For more than a century, the company has depended on Canadian storage land it will lose in 2014, and officials hope the plan will help the company survive without Canadian tours.

    “We’re going to not stop, we’re going to keep going until we resolve this issue,” Christopher M. Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co., said at a Thursday news conference. “It is our intent to operate for a long period of time.”

    Wallenda needs Canadian approval or Falls walk proposal is dead: New York State Parks

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    So as the details of the Nik Wallenda/Michael Chan meeting were coming out, there were also reports that if this is going to happen at all, it has to happen as a walk between the two countries. Apparently New York State officials have said a walk solely on the US side is not an option. It would cost too much money. This doesn’t really make sense to me. One of the big things that Mr. Wallenda was promoting to the Niagara Parks was that it wouldn’t cost them anything, as he would cover the costs for everything. If he would do that here, wouldn’t he do that in the US?

    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It’s America to Canada — or bust — for Nik Wallenda, according to New York State Parks.

    In a statement sent to The Niagara Falls Review Friday evening, New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said she has reached out to the tightrope walker to inform him the agency can’t support a high-wire act limited to the American Falls.

    Wallenda has not been able to secure approval for an international crossing from Canadian authorities.

    “A walk limited to the American Falls is not what New York approved or envisioned in legislation authorizing Nik Wallenda to traverse the Niagara River Gorge from the United States to Canada,” Harvey said in the statement.

    “The costs to New York State of managing a walk only across the American Falls would exceed $1 million in direct state expenses, while, because of the physical topography of Niagara Falls and crowd-safety concerns, the number of people who could watch such a walk would be extremely limited.

    “As a result, despite the costs to New York State, the vast majority of people on the U.S. side would be turned away from the park and never see the walk.”

    Seven plans offered for Falls site

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    From the Buffalo News:

    The city whose reputation as a honeymoon capital is often overshadowed by its reputation for urban decay is poised to get its first major downtown development — outside of the Seneca Niagara Casino — in some 30 years.

    City and state officials have confirmed that seven developers submitted proposals for a 38,000-square-foot site at 310 Rainbow Blvd.

    While details of the specific plans were not released, officials said they would like to see a mixed-use building rise on the site to fill the unmet downtown demand for retail, food, beverage, residential and hotel space around the falls.

    Wallenda to meet with park, city officials about performance over gorge

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    From the Niagara Gazette:

    Nik Wallenda is scheduled to meet with state officials today to discuss the progress of his plan to perform a high-wire walk over the Niagara Gorge.

    Wallenda will discuss the logistical aspects of the proposed wire walk with representatives from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, New York State Park Police and the Niagara Falls police and fire departments.

    After the private meeting, Wallenda is expected to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. at the Top of the Falls Restaurant to offer an update on his plans.

    “This meeting is an opportunity to discuss the logistical aspects of how Wallenda’s high-wire walk could work,” said state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, who organized the meeting. “This is a time to get questions answered and concerns addressed. I’m confident we can overcome any perceived difficulties with the walk by keeping an open dialogue and communicating our needs.”

    WKBW Channel 7 in Buffalo also has an article/video about the meeting.

    • Niagara Falls Becomes Setting for Death Defying Stunt

    Moses still on meandering detour

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    From the Buffalo News:

    The Robert Moses State Parkway, hailed a half-century ago as a marvel of modern highway engineering that would give millions of motorists a new perspective of the Niagara River and its famous falls, may have become a road to oblivion.

    The objective was to provide a fast, efficient and safe way for people to drive rapidly along the river’s edge and enjoy its spectacular views without having to dodge pedestrians or worry about cross-street traffic.

    It was a way to open the river’s vistas to drivers and passengers who otherwise may never have been able to find a place to park, and it was free of charge.

    The idea of a limited-access, scenic parkway with wide, sweeping curves that wound right through the state park at the brink of the American Falls seemed like an idea whose time had come in the mid-20th century. And it was named in honor of the state’s master builder of the time: Robert Moses.

    But a growing chorus of detractors has formed over the last few decades calling for change — and in some cases demolition — of all or some of the parkway, and state officials again are considering what to do about it.

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