Has downtown Niagara Falls turned the corner?
The redevelopment of the long vacant Hotel Niagara is being touted as another sign of Niagara Falls' rebirth.
Brine Wells Development, founder and CEO, Edward Riley plans to invest $42-million bringing the Hotel Niagara back to life.
"The success of this project, at the end of the day, will be the attention to detail that's put into the restoration," Riley said.
When work on the 130-room hotel and two ballrooms is complete, Riley says, it will reopen as an upper-upscale hotel under a major brand flag. Destination Niagara USA, President and CEO, John Percy says, the project is a monument to the city's success in making tourism the strongest industry in Niagara Falls.
"I don't know the brand that they'll put on this property. They didn't talk about that. But I'm sure it's going to be a sharp and well known brand. And we have a Hyatt Place that's opening up, a Courtyard by Marriott, we have a DoubleTree by Hilton, properties and brands that we have never had in this marketplace. And that's helped us expand our reach and our marketing efforts extensively," Percy said.
In recent years, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, Albany's invested $75-million upgrading Niagara Falls State Park. And millions more removing the old Robert Moses Parkway downtown to reconnect the city with its strongest asett - its waterfront. Cuomo said, the pieces are falling into place.
"And the truth and the proof is in the numbers. The unemployment rate is down. The economic numbers are up," Cuomo said.
The governor says there's also proof in investments being made by Goldman Sachs and M&T Bank.
"Major financial institutions now willing to put their money and bet on Niagara Falls' future. That's how you know the arrows are pointed in the right direction," Cuomo said.
The goal, according to Cuomo, is not to bring Niagara Falls back to what it was. He says the goal is to make Niagara Falls better, stronger and more beautiful than ever.