Niagara Gazette

Opinion

October 28, 2013

HIGGS: Revisiting 39th Street School and discovering Honeymoon Capital Souvenirs

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The Niagara Beautification Commission recently presented the Honeymoon Capital Souvenirs at 16 Rainbow Blvd. with its October Spotlight Award. I found out that when you are not a tourist there are several places in Niagara Falls that you missed out on.

I have known the owner Doreen O’Connor for many years and she has been active in the tourism industry most of her adult life. She was at the Comfort Inn for 20 years as general manager and also had a souvenir business there. After the sale to the Maid of the Mist she moved her store to her current location next to the NTCC official visitor center on Rainbow Boulevard near the roundabout. When she called to install telephone service at this location, she was assigned her mother’s former number. Her mother, Stephanie, had passed away 15 years previous and she felt this was a good omen about her future success. Doreen also owns and operates the Gray Line Tour scenic bus line. She said it was an honor to be associated with the worldwide Gray Line and she had formerly operated under Niagara Majestic Tours for many years. This is not her only venture into the souvenir sales business as she operates the gift shops at the Sheraton at the Falls and at the Adams Mark in Buffalo and a small retail outlet, Souvenir Outlets in the LaSalle area.

She met me at the Honeymoon store which I found to be a beautiful, well lit and inviting place with hundreds of Niagara Falls items to choose from. There are also generic items and a snack counter. Wedding items are highlighted in a special spot as she promotes Niagara as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World.” In response to some of my questions, she mentioned 2013 was a good year and her best sellers remain T-shirts. Of course, her tour bus line stops here to offer a few minutes for the riders to shop. A favorite item among the Russian tourists is maple syrup and the Chinese love the calendars and post cards. Anything with a photo of the falls is what they look for. She even carries the Niagara Falls cook book published by the Boys and Girls Club.

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