Niagara Gazette — Cuomo said that tourism is an important growth industry for New York.
“Niagara Falls is a jewel,” Cuomo said. “A jewel that we haven’t invested in, a jewel that we haven’t given the attention that it deserves in my mind. But, it has phenomenal potential, not just for the region but for the entire state.”
Maid of the Mist Corp. faced the threat of having to shutdown after 156 years of operating in the Niagara gorge after it lost its winter storage facility for the boats along with the rights to operate from the Canadian side of the Falls. The province of Ontario awarded those rights to California-based company Hornblower Cruises along with the access to the storage space at the base of the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side as part of an open bidding process that concluded early this year. Hornblower’s contract takes effect in 2014.
Chris Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist and son of owner James Glynn, said his company is “profoundly thankful” to the governor for reworking the deal and allowing the company to continue operating.
“It boils down to this,” Glynn said “Governor Cuomo has saved the Maid of the Mist.”
Glynn said that his family has tried to honor the history of the boats since buying the company in 1971, but that their business was threatened by an “international process that was very unusual.”
The governor’s intervention has helped to ensure that the boat service will continue to operate in that tradition, Glynn said.
Mayor Paul Dyster said that he was excited by th eannouncement that the “iconic” Maid of the Mist would continue to operate onthe American side of the Falls.
“The state of New York has a long and proud tradition of conservation, one that began here in Niagara Falls in the 1880s with efforts to preserve this incredible place by making it a state park,” Dyster said. “Even before the state park at the Falls there was a tour boat operating at its base.”