On the following pages readers will find a rather comprehensive report on a single project - the proposed Hamister Hotel Project in Downtown Niagara Falls.
For almost three years, the Niagara Falls Reporter questioned the deal - and its taxpayer subsidized financing plan.
Sometimes the Reporter was the only one to question it.
Now the Hamister project is coming near its crossroads. It is already more than a year late. The developer will either have to build starting this spring or summer - or the public will know all bets are off.
The Reporter too is at the crossroads. It is high time we faithfully address - and completely explain - what we think is wrong with a project that has been almost universally praised and in a sort of blindly unquestioning way that reveals a certain naïveté at best and at worst gives birth to fanaticism.
For those then who have an interest - this is our view of the Hamister hotel deal. Use it as a yardstick, not as a measure of Hamister's proposed hotel, but as a yardstick of our judgment, of yours, or the public.
If the Hamister hotel was a privately funded project, that did not require millions from the taxpayers, and the virtual taking of a valuable downtown property, owned by the people of Niagara Falls, we would say nothing against the project.
As it is, this project is reliant on the money and the land of the people.
This is why we write about it, why we wrote this report, why we had questions in our mind, and why we will try to answer those here in this report.