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Goat Island lodge idea may be dead in water


Gov. Andrew Cuomo has backed away from a proposal to build a privately operated lodge on a state-owned island near the brink of Niagara Falls.

Last month, Cuomo said he wanted Empire State Development to put out a request for proposals to build a lodge on Goat Island, part of Niagara Falls State Park. The lodge is a component of the Governor's plan to expand the recreational opportunities at the Park.

The idea quickly drew criticism from preservationists and local officials, including Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, who say such a project would spoil the island's beauty and take business away from nearby hotels.

"Goat Island is only one of several locations that could be considered as an option for a lodge," Dyster said last week. "I am confident that we can find a location that residents and visitors alike will find more suitable."

Scores of people turned out during Tuesday night's Niagara Falls City Council meeting to voice their opposition to the lodge. During the meeting, Council Member Kristen Grandinetti's said she received a text message from Cuomo's office saying he was backing off the Goat Island proposal.

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