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One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Hamister-kind

"We have taken a big step forward to improving the tourism industry here in Niagara Falls recently with the Hamister Hotel deal."

Those were the words of Lewiston Assemblyman John Ceretto regarding his fellow Republican Mark Hamister's new $100,000 land purchase in downtown Niagara Falls and his plan to build a 100-room, limited-service hotel on the site.

At around 100 rooms, it will be a modest hotel by most standards. The average Hilton has 172 rooms. The average Marriot has 181 rooms.

According to Statisticbrain.com, the average full-service hotel has 290 rooms. The average limited-service hotel has 114 rooms, about the size of the proposed Hamister hotel.

Interestingly, Hamister owns nine hotels already and all of them are limited service hotels.

Ceretto used the land sale and promise to build the hotel to trumpet the announcement of a forum he held Monday at the Niagara Falls Public Library, attended by "public officials and tourism experts."

One has to wonder if these are the same "experts" who negotiated and fought for the Hamister deal.

In a city with 3,200 hotel rooms - -and almost no attractions except for Niagara Falls State Park itself-- - we wonder how a publicly-subsidized, medium-sized hotel brings us closer to being, as Ceretto put it, "a world class tourist destination?"

While Ceretto's comment is good, we don't feel it goes far enough:

The 100-room Hamister hotel is the salvation of Niagara Falls and we prefer to call it our own Mt. Sinai, where the Tablets of Stone were rewritten for Hamister to one commandment: This hotel must be built or our city will perish.

In our imagination, at the summit, in place of the cave, where Moses waited to receive the Ten Commandments from God, is a rooftop banquet room, where Hamister awaited council approval, and the governor's intervention to make a land giveaway and give millions of taxpayer money to build a five-story hotel that is the summit of an entire future of a crumbling city.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

OCT 01, 2013