NU, NCC, a Craft Beer Brewery, a free parking ramp, student dorms reportedly part of plans
By Frank Parlato
Sometime soon Gov. Andrew Cuomo will arrive in Niagara Falls to announce the Hotel Niagara will be developed and operated by Delaware North.
He won’t say he is gifting the hotel to them of course, he will say the state is “partnering”.
But gifting is what he means.
New York taxpayers, through Empire State Development, bought the historic Hotel Niagara from developer Harry Stinson paying him several million more than what he paid. The published price of purchase or sale is irrelevant since there are paper expenses on Stinson’s side, while taxpayers paid in hard cash.
And when you peel back the onion, and get rid of all the paper investment credited to Delaware North, the billion dollar company will get a free hotel [wonder if it was all pre-planned when the state approached Stinson to buy his hotel?]
State and the city taxpayers will enjoy the pleasure of paying to renovate the property and tenants will be produced for Delaware North most likely at taxpayer expense.
Some of the plans may be subject to change but here is what has been discussed so far, according to a high level source:
The hotel will be owned [or leased] and operated by Delaware North.
Niagara University is expected to play an educational role by renting space in the hotel for its Tourism, Hospitality and Event Planning instruction. Students can work inside the hotel and get real hands on experience and Delaware North can get free labor. With NU paying rent and with Start-Up NY, IDA, or Empire State Subsidies, the property should be safely off the tax rolls forever, and the flow of money going from NU to Delaware North where it will be accepted gladly.
In addition, Niagara County Community College is expected to bring a culinary school component with much of the same concepts as NU. The flow of money once again will go from NCCC to Delaware North.
One or both educational institutions may also lease rooms for student dorms assuring Delaware North of sufficient year-round occupancy for a hotel business that otherwise has low occupancy during the winter.
State taxpayers will chip in too with subsidies so Delaware North can renovate the property with taxpayer money instead of their own.
The City will also be permitted to contribute. The biggest problem with the Hotel Niagara is that there is no parking. The City therefore will build a multi-story parking ramp next to the Hotel Niagara on the city owned surface parking lot behind the Jefferson Apartments.
Last, but not least, NCCC, or perhaps another tenant, will develop a craft beer brewery in the hotel.
Mayor Paul Dyster owns a craft beer supply store in Tonawanda and is a Certified Beer Judge.
He can be counted on for advice, one would think.
And please don’t forget there is going to be in the traffic circle that Dyster fought so hard to spend more than $600,000, a funky, metal, cool-toned red, white and baby blue, phallic, obscure boundary waters treaty statue right in front of the warm, rich earth tones and classic lines of the historic Hotel Niagara.
Sounds like a plan.