The Reporter strongly suspects Goat Island is the preferred choice for the lodge and a developer/operator has already been selected by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
That operator is Delaware North headed up by Gov. Cuomo’s magnificent campaign donor, Jeremy Jacobs.
It may be coincidence but Gov. Cuomo’s Lt. Gov. is Kathy Hochul and Jacobs’ General Counsel is William Hochul. They are husband and wife.
Shortly after Mr. Hochul was hired, a lodge on Goat Island became the front burner issue for Cuomo’s plans for the Niagara Falls State Park.
It may also be coincidence that Delaware North lost its concessions contract at Yosemite National Park – which consisted of a number of lodges – a big financial loss for the company.
It may also be a coincidence that Jacobs is one of Gov. Cuomo’s largest donors.
Still, if anybody would care to make a wager that Gov. Cuomo has not selected Delaware North for the lodge and that it will be on Goat Island, we suspect certain Las Vegas oddsmakers will be glad to take all comers.
The latest odds are (7-1) Delaware North will ‘win’ the RFP for the lodge. (4-1) Goat Island will be the site selected for the lodge. (6-1) Taxpayers will pay for a lodge on Goat Island which Delaware North will operate tax free. (8-1) Delaware North will be one of the largest donors to Cuomo’s reelection campaign.
No matter what you hear about other sites under consideration, unless the public stays vigilant, the lodge will be built on Goat Island. The Reporter suspects the idea behind saying there are other possible locations for the lodge is to make the public think there is no definite plan to put the lodge on Goat Island so, “why holler before you’re hurt?”
Six months from now, after poorly advertised public hearings, an expensive taxpayer funded study which will conclude that the only place a lodge should be built is Goat Island and an RFP where all developers with a proposal will be welcome to submit, but Delaware North will be selected and announced in the media to great fanfare and colorful renderings, the momentum will be pretty hard to stop. After all that time and money has been invested – the voice of the public will be too little, too late.