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Dyster hopes new hotels carry long-term benefits

WBFO News file photo

For Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, this might be a golden time for the hotel business in his city and a potential shot in the arm for employment.

The mayor said there are eight new hotels in various stages of the approval and construction process, each potentially bringing more jobs.

Dyster said they may not help the tax base much any time soon because of the various tax-break incentives for their construction.

The mayor said the goal is to eventually get hotels built without any incentives.

Dyster said hotels bring jobs and not just low-skill, low-wage jobs.

"They didn't put you on the assembly line for a V-8 engine the first day that you went to work for General Motors. You probably were sweeping the floors. Right? So everybody starts at the beginning in terms of employment," Dyster said.

"That's true also in the tourism industry, too. But, there's plenty of room for advancement in the tourism industry. And there are a lot of people today and there will be a lot more making a living in Downtown Niagara Falls who are white collar employees."

Dyster said hotels need managers and accountants and lawyers just as much as they need cooks, wait staff or cleaners.

At the same time, the mayor wants those hotels to do workforce training so people can move up in position and pay.

The mayor said local high schools and colleges must learn from needs for the potential training for those jobs, like the people being trained in the Culinary Institute Downtown.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.