Across Niagara Falls, there are projects suggesting the tourism boom - and development that feeds off tourists - are here to stay for the long haul.
For the first time, the legendary Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs is dipping its treasury into Cataract City development, helping build the Hyatt Place Hotel on Rainbow Boulevard. Mayor Paul Dyster said it opens new avenues for financing more hotels.
"They've gotten a reputation for being a very tight-fisted nuts and bolts outfit and I agree with him," Dyster said. "The fact that they've decided to risk this investment in Niagara Falls is a very, very positive thing going forward. I think as a practical matter, their investment here is going to make it easier for others that are financing the next round of projects to get bank financing."
Construction of the $37 million DoubleTree hotel that opened this week along the Niagara River was completed with financing from a group of banks. Faisal Merani, President of Merani Hotel Group that opened the DoubleTree, says locals don't fully recognize the attraction of the river and the falls.
"We just get way too used to seeing the water and the falls and it's amazing that people who come in here and they've never seen it before and they look out the window and they're awestruck," Merani said. "We forget that sometimes."
The hotel will take advantage of the removal of the old Robert Moses Parkway to open the view to tourists, which Merani said also made the hotel possible.
A craft brewery also is on the way on Niagara Street. Buffalove Development's Bernice Radle says the brewery is part of a larger project.
"We are opening the first brewery since 1940, so it's the first brewery in the last 70 years in downtown Niagara Falls," said Radle, a Niagara Falls native. "We're going to be teaming up with Community Beer Works and Savarino Companies and Buffalove to create a three-story brewery, with the first story being a pub, a second story being a really cool arcade type of deal and the third floor is going to be some flex space."
Radle said craft breweries in downtown Buffalo have had a lot to do with image improvements and resulting projects. She said the same thing will happen in Niagara Falls.