From Buffalo Business First (sometimes the article shows up free, sometimes you need a paid subscription):
On a sunny spring afternoon, Asian tourists climbed off a bus in the Fallsview District of Niagara Falls and made their way toward the iconic waterfalls, many with cameras in hand.
Those who didn’t immediately head to a nearby overview were busy taking selfies near the Fallsview Casino.
Those 40 tourists are symbolic of the more than 14 million people a year who visit Niagara Falls, Ontario. They come not only for the dramatic views but for a growing list of attractions.
From Time Warner Cable News (includes video):
Officials said Monday that the Wonder Falls project, the planned transformation the former Rainbow Centre Mall in Niagara Falls into a resort and tourist desination, could be the start of a new era for the city.
Wonder Falls will include a 15-story hotel, an indoor waterpark, retail, restaurants, and a daredevil museum.
The Niagara Gazette is going through their list of top 10 stories of the year. I’m sure many of them are working linking to, but I’ll post this one, and then you can follow links on that page to other articles.
The calendar year has been anything but vanilla for the hotel industry in Niagara Falls.
While the area received praise as a most popular tourist destination in two separate national magazines, four hotels either changed ownership or received major renovations in 2011…
From the Niagara Falls Review:
First a carousel, now a miniature Ferris wheel.
The Niagara Parks Commission will be the proud new owner of a three-foot-tall wooden Ferris wheel, part of a 180-piece miniature village collection it is buying for $113,000. The Cullen Miniature Village, once a popular tourist destination in Whitby, will be restored and set up on parks commission land, now that the NPC’s offer to buy the collection has been accepted.
The City of Oshawa, which bought the collection in a controversial $239,000 deal from the Cullen family in 2007, unanimously voted to accept the commission’s offer during a special committee meeting Thursday. That decision is expected to be approved by the full council Monday night.
“These councillors just wanted this done with,” Oshawa director of finance services Chris Brown said Thursday. “They would have loved to get (the full purchase price) back, but the market is what it is, so I think they’ll endorse this Monday night.”
From Business Link Niagara:
Canada’s Honeymoon City has long been known as a tourist destination. Anchored by the iconic Niagara Falls itself, a thriving hospitality and attractions sector has become the face of the city.
That isn’t going away, but Niagara Falls is taking big strides to go beyond the bright lights to position itself as one of Canada’s top destinations for conventions, conferences and trade shows.
“Tourism is very much driven by the seasons, but conventions and business travellers will make Niagara Falls a year-round destination,” says Anthony Annunziata, Vice-President of Marketing at the Marriott Gateway on the Falls . “Niagara Falls has a premier facility for large corporate gatherings, with all the amenities to keep your employees, delegates and clients happy when not on the convention floor.”
From the Niagara Falls Review:
Access to mass transportation in the middle 1800s created new industries and introduced destinations such as Niagara Falls to the masses.
Railroad networks provided easier access to the wonders of North America and Niagara Falls was one of the major must see attractions, just as it is today.
At this time, people were also seeking out the historical points of interest in the region. Survivors from the War of 1812 could be found throughout the region, providing first hand accounts of the battles.
In Niagara Falls, competition for these tourists was fierce. The battleground at Lundy’s Lane is the highest point in the city, so it also provided one of the best views away from the Falls. To take advantage of that, inns and taverns opened up in the area based on the proximity to the battlefield and tourism promoters also created towers to overlook the battlefield and the surroundings.
Built in the 1820s, Adam Fralick modified his home and reopened it as the Battle Ground Hotel — a tavern and early tourist destination.
From the Medina Journal-Register:
A national publication recently wrote an in-depth analysis of Niagara Falls, N.Y., versus its Canadian counterpart.
Not surprisingly, the outlook was far more rosy in Ontario.
Governing.com examined the sparkling development of the Canadian side and the equally dreary crumbling of the American side, which the publication said falls far short of what a tourist destination should be.
A lack of vision by municipal leaders, the report said, is to blame.
“Simply put, Niagara Falls, Ontario, has benefited from decades of decisions by regional and provincial policy makers who have built on one another’s work,” the report said. “Niagara Falls, N.Y., has lurched through short-sighted, incompetent and sometimes corrupt municipal governance, failed stabs at regionalism and flailing, inconsistent and outright destructive approaches by various arms of state government.”