The Seneca Nation of Indians and Seneca Gaming Corporation are announcing the launch of a project they say will help leave a better first impression on tourists arriving in the Cataract City.
In 2002, the Senecas took over the former Niagara Falls Convention Center and converted it into the Seneca Niagara Casino. A hotel followed soon after and now, years later, officials say their newest project furthers their commitment to their territories.
"The Seneca Nation has long viewed our territory and its vantage point of the Seneca Nation in particular as standing at the front door of Niagara Falls," said Seneca Nation President Todd Gates. "More people come to our resort and discover and rediscover the wonders of Niagara and we want to make an immediate impression on them."
Interior work calls for the development of a new lobby and the reconfiguration of existing assets including a lobby bar. A new registration and VIP check-in will be added to the lobby. Outside, plans call for the creation of a new entryway off John B. Daly Boulevard, with added sculptures and other landscaping to raise its visual attraction.
"Niagara Falls is a natural wonder of the world," said Seneca Gaming Corporation President and CEO Holly Gagnon. "It's very important for us to enhance that wonder through the eyes of our visitors. Visitors to Niagara will be welcomed from the moment they drive on to John B. Daly Boulevard, as their eyes set upon a new and dramatically different entryway."
Officials say this plan has been in the works for a long period of time but they've also taken notice at the other redevelopment happening on surrounding blocks.
Michael Kimelberg, senior vice president of development for Seneca Niagara, welcomes that change and said the Seneca Niagara plan has changing surroundings in mind."
"We've actually been encouraged to see that work as we feel we have an obligation as well to present the best public face for the community as well, so we're pleased to do that with this project," he said. "We also like what's happening, or at least the vision, for Rainbow (Boulevard), some of the hotel development there. We've carefully considered that in the design for this project, putting in a pedestrian sidewalk and lighting on 6th Street."
Completion of the project is expected in late spring 2019.