Tag: tour boat

    Crane being lowered into Niagara Gorge

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    From WIVB Channel 4 in Buffalo:

    Crews in Niagara Falls are hard at work getting the Maid of the Mist ready for the winter.

    The tour boat company must remove its vessels from the lower Niagara River before the water freezes over. But before that can happen, a giant crane from Germany has to be assembled and then lowered 200 feet into the gorge.

    Alarm clears Niagara Falls tour boat building

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    From Yahoo! News:

    Niagara Parks Police say a fire alarm forced staff and visitors out of the Maid of the Mist plaza in Canada for a more than an hour.

    The fire call at the site of the famous Niagara Falls tour boats came in about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities trace the alarm to dust in the building’s duct work.

    See also:

    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.”

    News regarding the Maid of the Mist

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    I’ve waited for the “dust to settle” before posting more about the Maid of the Mist. There were lots of articles posted, but as usual, other than the local sites they were mostly Associated Press or Canadian Press articles. Here are a selection of good articles:

    Maid of the Mist’s future uncertain


    From Buffalo Business First:

    The 2011 season for the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Corp. began Wednesday morning.

    But the bigger question is whether this will be the last year that the Niagara Falls, N.Y.-based company will be permitted to run its boats from the U.S. and Canadian shores of the lower Niagara River.

    At issue is a 2008 renewal that the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Corp. signed with the Niagara Parks Commission to continue to pick up and drop off passengers on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. Potential competitors cried foul over what they perceived as a no-bid process that saw the pact renewed.

    The issue morphed into a political hot button in Niagara Falls, Ont., with the parks commission ultimately deciding to withdraw the deal and put the tour-boat operations out to bid. The bids were issued last fall, and 18 firms including Maid of the Mist Steamboat Corp. are believed to have responded. The parks commission has declined to formally identify any of the bidders.

    Tour boats contract bid process under fire

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    From the Globe and Mail:

    The Niagara Parks Commission is fending off claims it is tilting a tendering process in favour of the Maid of the Mist, the tour boat company whose exclusive access to Niagara Falls has been controversial for the Ontario government agency.

    Last year, after a four-decade monopoly for the Maid’s American owners, the province ordered the parks commission to tender the boat lease, worth more than $5-million a year to the $80-million agency. The order followed complaints in 2008 that would-be competitors had been turned away despite having promised richer returns to the commission, which for four straight years has lost money after more than a century of steady profitability.

    A fairness commissioner and outside experts were appointed to prevent bias in the tender, but certain clauses in the bid document – drafted by the same parks officials who supported the Maid monopoly in the past – are raising questions about its fairness, and about Ontario’s efforts to improve its stewardship of Niagara Falls, a jewel of Canadian tourism and beacon to travellers around the world.

    Niagara Parks opens river boat bidding

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    From Buffalo Business First (the Niagara Falls Review also has a different article):

    Want to operate a tour boat from the Canadian shores of the lower Niagara River?

    Then, the Niagara Parks Commission wants to hear from you and your company.

    The parks commission, Friday afternoon, set a Nov. 24 deadline for any company to bid on tour boat operations. The Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co. has been running tour boats from both the U.S. and Canadian shores of the lower Niagara River for generations and while its U.S. pact runs for more than three decades, it’s Canadian lease has been under fire for the past year.

    Operators need to show innovation

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Weddings aboard a tour boat in the mist of Niagara Falls could become a new tradition depending on what “innovative” ideas companies propose in their bids to operate tours from the Canadian side of the Niagara River.

    “You can provide anything that you think will work,” said Bill Mocsan, a consultant hired by the Ministry of Tourism to help the Niagara Parks Commission pick a company to provide tours — a process that could end the commission’s historic tie with the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co.

    Mocsan, the government-appointed procurement specialist will draft the request for proposals for companies interested in winning the lease to run boat tours from a piece of parks commission property.

    Other possibilities could include hour-long cruises with hot meals. A snack bar on board. And night tours.

    The “preview” put up yesterday also has some videos…

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