October 21, 2013 - 2:54 PM
The City of Niagara Falls is selling itself to new residents in two new commercials.
The commercials are for the Live NF program, which will pay some student loan debt for recent college graduates who move to the city.
A 30-second version and two-minute version were released earlier this month. Local television stations - including WGRZ, WIVB, WKBW and YNN, as well as OSC 21 on Time Warner Cable - have agreed to air the commercials as public service announcements.
The commercials, which feature city residents and businesses, are part of a proactive effort, said Seth Piccirillo, director of the city's Community Development Department.
"Attracting and retaining people and businesses is a competition," Piccirillo said in an email. "We are competing with the rest of the country and Canada. We need to act like it."
Continue reading "Video: The City of Niagara Falls promotes itself in commercials" »
October 18, 2013 - 3:55 PM
A public rally is planned for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 26 in front of the Culinary Institute Niagara Falls, 28 Old Falls St.
The event is being called a "Rally for Niagara's Future & Our Children's Future."
Continue reading "Organized labor plans rally for 'Niagara's future'" »
October 8, 2013 - 10:21 AM
A new website is promoting Niagara Falls and the surrounding area for potential visitors.
NiagaraFallsUpClose.com includes information about attractions and lodging, as well as "news" items about recent area history.
The site is produced by Bob Koshinski, the vice president and general manager of WBBZ-TV.
October 3, 2013 - 4:23 PM
Updated 4:53 p.m.
The state and the City of Niagara Falls are offering $40 million in incentives as part of a competition to create downtown development projects.
Dubbed the "Downtown Niagara Falls Development Challenge," officials are looking for proposals for "signature projects" to boost tourism.
One of the reasons for the challenge is to build more attractions to try to get tourists who visit the Falls to stay longer and spend more money while visiting.
The area is not capitalizing on potential revenue, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office, because overnight stays and visitor spending are less here than in places around the country with national parks, even though the Falls draws more visitors than most.
The loss in revenue "can be traced to the limited number and quality of amenities in the Niagara Falls area."
Continue reading "State, city launch competition for downtown development projects" »
October 2, 2013 - 12:47 PM
German food. German music. German beer.
All three will combine at Niagara Falls' Oktoberfest celebration from 1 to 8 p.m. Oct. 12 on Old Falls Street. There is free admission for the event, which will be held rain or shine.
The event also includes a Kan Jam tournament at 2 p.m. The entry fee is $20 per team, and cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers. Proceeds of the tournament will benefit the Niagara Falls Music & Art Festival.
Visit fallsstreet.com for more information.
September 30, 2013 - 9:28 PM
Updated 9:03 a.m. Oct. 1
A proposal to implement a new downtown parking system with pay-and-display machines was rejected by a 3-2 vote of the City Council tonight. (I wrote about the proposal here.)
The Council also unanimously approved more than $1 million in purchases of new equipment for the Department of Public Works and Parks.
The proposed purchases include about $555,000 in snow removal equipment, including a tandem dump truck with a plow, a payloader, a single-axle dump truck and two pickup trucks.
The approval also covers $194,000 for a street sweeper, a hybrid SUV, as well as $118,000 in equipment to maintain Hyde Park Golf Course, one vehicle for Hyde Park maintenance and a bucket truck for the city’s forestry department.
Here's the paperwork:
Continue reading "Council rejects $1M parking plan, approves $1M in DPW spending" »
September 19, 2013 - 11:36 AM
(Derek Gee/Buffalo News)
Updated 2:35 p.m.
NIAGARA FALLS - Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and developer Mark Hamister signed a ceremonial agreement this morning for the $25.3 million hotel, apartment and retail project downtown.
Cuomo got personally involved in the proposed development two weeks ago after a political mailer almost made Hamister walk away.
"Mr. Hamister, I can't tell you how grateful we are that you gave us the
benefit of the doubt," Cuomo said during an event in the Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls.
Listen to Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster's introduction of Cuomo and the governor's remarks:
Hamister said he expects to break ground on the project sometime in the second half of 2014.
While he said he has yet to apply for a franchise agreement for the hotel, Hamister said the hotel will likely be either a Hilton, Marriott or Intercontinental.
"I suppose you can read into my order of things in that response," he said.
September 16, 2013 - 7:01 PM
Update: 9:13 p.m.
NIAGARA FALLS - The City Council has voted 3-2 to approve the $25.3 million development proposal from the Hamister Group.
Councilman Bob Anderson announced earlier today he was supporting the project.
Chairman Glenn Choolokian and Councilman Sam Fruscione voted against it.
Listen to the discussion by Council members during tonight's vote: