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Maid of the Mist company seeks independence from Canada

Good crowds greeted the Maid of the Mist for the opening of its 2012 season today.   The question is whether we may be witnesses to the beginning of the end for the world-famous company. 

Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co. President Christopher Glynn rejected that notion in a brief meeting with reporters at the dock by the American Falls today.

"The Maid of the Mist has a proud tradition, which we fully expect to continue for many more years. We appreciate all the support we have received and are working with state officials on a long-term solution which will provide New York State the ability to operate independently from Ontario. This can only be accomplished by building a dry-docking facility on the New York side," said Glynn.

Maid of the Mist has dry-docked its boats and its fuel on the Canadian side of the river for years.  No such facility exists on the American side of the river, so one would have to be built. 

New York's Parks Commission is balking at Maid of the Mist's request to build storage and fuel facilities on the American side of the river by the Rainbow Bridge, citing costs and environmental concerns. 

In addition, the Canadian government has ceded control of the Maid's docking facilities to San Francisco-based Hornblower Cruises.  The Canadian government recently approved a 30-year contract with a San Francisco-based company to run trips to the base of the falls on the Canadian side of the river starting in 2014.

Hornblower's CEO told The Buffalo News recently that Maid of the Mist should gracefully exit. 


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