Niagara Gazette — For the Maid of the Mist, 2012 can probably be described as schizophrenic.
It has ended with promising developments meant to keep the tour boat company afloat for years to come. And buoyed by a partnership with Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this month, the American boats will be docked on the American side for the first time.
As worries grew about the future of the tourist ferries, business this year boomed due to a number of factors. Warmer and drier conditions than average in the prime tourists season and some guy named Nik Wallenda, who took the boat for a visit to the base of Niagara Falls to get a good look at just what he’d gotten himself into before crossing the border by tightrope in June, helped the company record a “successful year,” according to Maid of the Mist Corp. President Christopher Glynn.
“From several perspectives, 2012 was another memorable year for the Maid of the Mist,” Glynn said. “Visitors from around the world continued to trek to Niagara Falls to board our iconic boats for a unique view of the Falls. We hosted daredevil Nik Wallenda in May, giving him his first up-close look from the base of the cataract during a live broadcast of ABC’s Good Morning America, and phenomenal weather during the spring, summer and fall also contributed to our successful season.”
A memorandum of understanding, the agreement between the corporation and the government, signed Dec. 4, allows the Maid of the Mist boats to continue to operate on the American side for the next 30 years.
The previous lease was set to expire following the 2013 season.
It also calls for the construction of a $32 million boat dock at the site of the Schoellkopf Power Station, an investment Glynn said he’s excited to make to continue providing tourists and thrill seekers with unparalleled access to one of the greatest natural landmarks in the country and the world.