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Cuomo promises more plans for Niagara Falls

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

During his Monday visit to Niagara Falls to cut the ribbon on another hotel, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proclaimed that the best is yet to come for the Cataract City.

The new hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton on Buffalo Avenue, serves as an example of many of the governor's priorities. The facility is a partial adaptive reuse of an old hotel that was transformed by a $37 million investment. The location holds a view of the Niagara River now that a portion of the old Robert Moses Parkway has been removed, a move championed by the governor. Cuomo has also pushed tourism as a major economic engine for Upstate cities.  

"It has worked. The economy has turned 180 degrees," said Cuomo, offering praise to his initiatives. 

"Today, we have 7.9 million jobs in the State of New York. You know how many that is? That's more private sector jobs than we've ever had in the State of New York."

Cuomo also pointed to another sign that the Falls' economy has made a leap forward: a Wall Street investment into the Hamister hotel project.

"Goldman Sachs invested in a hotel in Niagara Falls, first time ever. Because they believe. And, Goldman Sachs does not believe easily," Cuomo said. 

"They don't operate on love. They operate on profit and they are betting on Niagara Falls. And, that's a smart bet."

The DoubleTree financing came from an array of local banks to the Merani Hotel Group which owns two other Niagara Falls hotels and found the location right over the water irresistible.

While Cuomo did not take questions from reporters, he floated others potential projects for Niagara Falls, including a new tourism destination on Goat Island and the development of vacant land near the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel.

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.