Hamister Project To Get In The Way Of Better Use Of Rainbow Blvd. Land?

by Mike Hudson

The problem in Niagara Falls isn’t that there aren’t enough hotel rooms. From luxury accommodations at Carl Paladino’s beautiful Giacomo Hotel or the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino to the Niagara Falls Boulevard Strip, where rooms can be had for well under $50 a night, there is rarely a time even at the peak of the tourist season when a visitor can’t find a room in the city.

This aerial picture shows how close the proposed mid scale Hamister hotel is to Niagara Falls. What a shame it will be forever wasted as a third rate hotel when attractions are what is needed for the falls and its tourists.

This aerial picture shows how close the proposed mid scale Hamister hotel is to Niagara Falls. What a shame it will be forever wasted as a third rate hotel when attractions are what is needed for the falls and its tourists.

So why all the fuss over Mark Hamister’s failed proposal to add 128 two-star rooms into the mix?

Finding middle class tourists a place to stay isn’t the problem. The problem is giving them something to do when they get here.

Mark Hamister and his purchased Governor, Andrew Cuomo shake hands as they announce the hotel project will move immediately forward. That was 2013.

Mark Hamister and his purchased Governor, Andrew Cuomo shake hands as they announce the hotel project will move immediately forward. That was 2013.

There’s never been any shortage of fine dining in the city, and there are more than enough good places to grab a cocktail, but a look across the river to Niagara Falls, Ontario, shows our neighbors have been busy creating something that’s gone all but unnoticed here.

Beneath the shadow cast by the Clifton Skywheel, there are dozens of attractions, fun for the whole family that doesn’t involved getting mugged at the 7-Eleven on a late night run for beer, soda and snacks.

This is one of Hamister’s earlier hotel proposals. It has been downgraded since then.

This is one of Hamister’s earlier hotel proposals. It has been downgraded since then.

From concepts as simple as The Great Canadian Midway – 70,000 square feet packed with rides and interactive games – to Bird Kingdom, a world class attraction featuring exotic birds, animals and reptiles presented in the environment of a lost city in the jungle, the Canadians have pulled out all the stops.

An aerial view of the proposed mid scale Hamister hotel which all the fuss was about. The fuss really should have been how on earth would the city and state give away one of the most valuable properties in the region to a politically connected developer who would deceive the public into thinking he would build a luxury hotel and in reality would build a no frills hotel.

An aerial view of the proposed mid scale Hamister hotel which all the fuss was about. The fuss really should have been how on earth would the city and state give away one of the most valuable properties in the region to a politically connected developer who would deceive the public into thinking he would build a luxury hotel and in reality would build a no frills hotel.

There’s the Waves Indoor Water Park, with its’ three-story waterslides, located right next door the Americana Waterpark Resort & Spa. Both of these facilities are owned by the DiCienzo family, which is trying mightily to gain a greater foothold on this side of the river, where it already owns the Days Inn at the Falls and the Sheraton at the Falls, along with the Rainforest Café, T.G.I. Fridays and the Starbucks Café.

This valuable property, 300 feet from the entrance to the Niagara Falls State Park, was gifted to Mark Hamister to build a luxury hotel. He later downgraded his plans to build a midscale hotel.

This valuable property, 300 feet from the entrance to the Niagara Falls State Park, was gifted to Mark Hamister to build a luxury hotel. He later downgraded his plans to build a midscale hotel.

Developer Michael DiCienzo told the Niagara Falls Reporter that his family has invested around $50 million on this side of the river and would like to double that investment in the next few years.

The Guinness Book of World Records Museum, the Movieland Wax Museum of the Stars, the House of Frankenstein, Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, Niagara Freefall – where indoor parachuting is offered – and numerous other attractions give those whose main reason for coming was to see the falls plenty to do when they’re not actually seeing the falls.

Last year Mark Hamister downgraded his hotel plan to a mid scale Hyatt Place - an inexpensive, limited amenities hotel with a mere 128 rooms to be built on the most valuable, undeveloped land in Niagara Falls.

Last year Mark Hamister downgraded his hotel plan to a mid scale Hyatt Place – an inexpensive, limited amenities hotel with a mere 128 rooms to be built on the most valuable, undeveloped land in Niagara Falls.

They were built by the sort of out of the box thinking that can’t be imagined by little minds fearful of the Uber car service, Airbnb or other modern conveniences the rest of the world has long since adapted to.

In many ways, the best thing that could have happened for Niagara Falls would have been Mark Hamister’s failure to secure the nearly $36 million he says he needs to build a truck stop motel here.

Once again it is golden shovel time for the Hamister hotel as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced developer Mark Hamister finally has the money to build his third rate hotel.

Once again it is golden shovel time for the Hamister hotel as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced developer Mark Hamister finally has the money to build his third rate hotel.

Sometimes we just can’t catch a break.

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