Niagara Gazette


March 20, 2010

GLYNN: Smooth sailing ahead for Jet Boat Tours?

NIAGARA FALLS — While the popular Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours have been through rough waters during the past two years, the outlook for spring is much better.

The improved forecast, however, comes at hefty price, says John Kinney, whose tour company operates out of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Water Street Landing, Lewiston.

Last week, the Ontario Court of Appeals ruled the tour company’s licensing agreement to use the Niagara-on-the-Lake town dock is legal.

That reversed the May 2009 decision when Justice Joseph Quinn ruled — in agreement with the Niagara River Coalition — the town had illegally leased the dock to the tour company for the past 16 years.

In releasing its ruling, the three Court of Appeal judges noted the Jet Boat Tours operation is compatible with surrounding uses.

The judges stated: “The area has a long history of marine and commercial use. That is the heritage of the Niagara River.”

Lord Mayor Gary Burroughs observed the controversy over the dock has caused some friction in the community for several years. Although, he said, town officials are generally satisfied with the ruling, it will be important to consult with the town attorney to get a full interpretation of the decision.

Kinney told the media last week that legal fees between the tour company and the town have exceeded $500,000 just to deal with the issues. At present, he plans to begin the 2010 season in late April.

The jet boats carry passengers — protected in full-length splash suits and boots — along the lower river, beneath the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, past the sprawling power plants and to the edge of the Whirlpool, the deepest part of the river.

On a related note, Kinney says the jet boats have frequently been filled during the prime season with visitors from Korea and India, among other foreign markets.


LURING VISITORS: Through the efforts of Bill Hilts Jr., outdoor sports specialist for the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp., and Elizabeth Davis, sales director of NTCC, the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers selected the Niagara area for its 2012 Spring Mega Media event.

The Barton Hill Hotel and Spa, Lewiston, will host the four-day conference expected to draw about 30 outdoor writers from leading sports publications in the states bordering the five Great Lakes, the nation’s largest source of fresh water.

The annual convention affords an excellent opportunity for any travel destination to market its major assets. In this case, it’s the splendid fishing areas along the river and on Lake Ontario.


OFF THE PRESS: “Been There Done That” by Steve Ludzik is the autobiography of the ex-National Hockey League player who started his career with the Niagara Falls Flyers in the Junior A, Ontario Hockey League.

  Ludzik was with the Chicago Black Hawks until 1992 before moving into the coaching ranks. For a short time, he coached the Tampa Bay Lightning.


A SIDETRIP: Generally pleasant weather conditions over the weekend brought more visitors to the Niagara Falls State Park, including some teams and many basketball fans attending the regional NCAA tourney games at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo.

Contact reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext.  2246.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page