Niagara Gazette

Columns

April 17, 2014

GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season

Niagara Gazette — Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

Although heavy-duty cranes and fenced-off construction sites are visible at several downtown sites and in the Niagara Falls State Park, tourist officials remain optimistic those projects will not adversely impact the visitors’ experience. 

“I love to see those cranes and that level of building,” said John Percy, president and CEO of the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. He added that such activity sends a vivid reminder to tourists that Niagara Falls has a commitment for even more improvements.

Percy noted that the lower Niagara River should be bustling with sightseeing boats operating from both sides of the border — the Maid of the Mist on the U.S. side and Hornblower Niagara Cruises — from the Canadian landing. Both companies face a late opening for the navigation season due to the heavy amount of ice in Lake Erie. 

In addition, two jet boat services will be carrying passengers from Niagara-on-the-Lake and Youngstown to the area near Devil’s Hole and the Whirlpool Rapids.

The Whirlpool Jet Boat tours will also depart from the Lewiston Landing at the foot of Center Street in the village. Meanwhile, Mike Fox, co-owner of the new Niagara Jet Adventures, said his company will sell trip tickets at the Dory on Main Street in Youngstown. 

The NTCC is sponsoring a luncheon to launch the tourist season May 2 at the Sheraton Four Points (the former Red Jacket Inn) on Buffalo Avenue. Other sessions are being planned for May 8 at the Lockport Locks and Canal Cruises and at the Riviera Theater in North Tonawanda.

••• 

ADDED ATTRACTION: Myrtle Beach, S.C., hardly needs another facility to attract visitors to its sandy beaches, splendid golf courses, and family oriented entertainment. Now, the popular Crown Reef Resort is opening a new waterpark for guests that will feature two 38-foot water slides and what is touted as the world’s first hotel “Explosion” slide. It’s 278-feet long, pumping more than 2,500 gallons of water per minute. Myrtle Beach, as countless Western New York travelers know, is one reason why it’s sometimes difficult to find a parking space at the Niagara Falls International Airport. Spirit Airlines operates regular service to Myrtle Beach and to some Florida destinations.

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