Wed March 7, 2012
Maid of the Mist Boats to remain for 2012 season on both sides of Niagara Falls
The Maid of the Mist Tour boats will be operating on both sides of Niagara Falls this season. But future operations of the boats along the Niagara River Gorge remain unknown.
“I think the Maid operating this year, on both sides and hopefully the New York side for a long time come,” said State Senator George Maziarz of Newfane after learning the Maid of the Mist will be moving forward with its tours at least for this year.
The decision was issued Tuesday after Maid of the Mist officials completed discussions with the Niagara Parks Commission.
Recently a California company reached an agreement to take over the Canadian side of the tours starting in 2014. Senator Mark Grisanti tells WBFO News that remains a major concern.
"I’m concerned about this company out of San Francisco, Hornblower, because I saw previous reports, basically stating that they oppose two companies operating in the gorge,” said Grisanti
Over the years, Maid of the Mist boats for the American side were stored on the Canadian side of the gorge, but that contract deal is running out.
"Without any storage on the Canadian side, and really 75% of the profits coming from the Canadian side, an American operator is not just going to go ahead and do something on its own on the American side. We don’t have the still waters. We don’t have the ability for storage on the American side. So at least it buys us time to make sure it continues in the future,” said Grisanti.
Grisanti said he will work to be part of the future discussions and Senator Maziarz plans to meet on March 19th with the State Parks to discuss what’s next for the tour boats.
Maziarz noted with this summer’s high-wire act by tightrope walker Nik Wallenda, it could be a “record tourism" season for Niagara Falls.
With the mild weather, the tour boats will begin an earlier season—starting April 12th. Maid of the Midst declined further comment on future seasons for the tour boats.