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JUNE 24 - JULY 02, 2014

Idiocy, like what was done with Hamister, is hard to come by

June 24, 2014

This amazing location (Hamister parcel) located just 300 feet from the entrance of the Niagara Falls State Park is amazingly slated to be just a midscale, smallish hotel. Given its location, it could have been the site of a world class attraction.

Back in the summer of 2013, it was said the city needed an "upscale" hotel, and that was why it should give up prime city land to Hamister.

Mayor Dyster called it the "tipping point development."

Rep. Brian Higgins said the project was "essential."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said losing the upscale Hamister hotel would be a "tragedy."

Now, a year later, it doesn't look like we will get an upscale hotel, after all.

We may get, if anything, a midscale business class hotel, with limited amenities.

In the meanwhile, despite his not delivering on his promised upscale hotel, Hamister will receive the promised $2.75 million from the taxpayers of New York State. He will also receive a million-dollar plus city-owned property for $100,000. In addition, the county and city will chip in several millions more by giving him a 10-year property tax break. He will stand to benefit another half a million dollars courtesy of the state and county since he and his contractors will not have to pay sales tax when he builds and furnishes his midscale hotel.

However, the greatest shame of the Hamister deal is not the taxpayer giveaways, but the poor use of the closest undeveloped parcel to the Niagara Falls State Park.

Gov. Cuomo, on a visit here, said the area needs attractions. Everyone in the tourism industry already knew that.

After tourists see the falls, there is little else to do.

Instead of trying to develop an attraction at this prime site, which is located only 300 feet from the entrance to Niagara Falls State Park, the governor of New York and the mayor of Niagara Falls decided to give it to local real estate developer Mark Hamister for a midscale business class hotel.





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