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AUGUST 18 - AUGUST 25, 2015

Top 10 Ways Hamister Can Really Make His Hotel Cost $35.7 Million

By Mike Hudson

August 18, 2015

When Hamister originally proposed his new hotel, he promised it would be a Hilton. Like most of his promises thus far that turned out to be a lie, but at least he could hire Paris Hilton to meet and greet visitors at his Hyatt Place on opening weekend. She’d do it for $250,000, according to her agent, allowing Hamister to spend even more money!
Building a monorail designed to whisk visiting kayakers to one of the many new kayak launches built by Mayor Paul Dyster around the city, the hordes of cricketeers who will be arriving to play on Dyster’s new cricket field and the massive numbers of Underground Railroad buffs who will come to Niagara Falls to gaze in wide wonder at the new statue of Harriet Tubman would certainly eat up millions of Hamister’s proposed $35.7 million budget. He’s not spending it on the hotel, so why the heck not!
Gold plated toilet seats don’t cost as much as you might think, but could provide just the touch Mark Hamister might need to convince guests at his new hotel that they’re staying in a nice place. To make his $18 million hotel look as though it cost almost $36 million to build is going to take a lot of creative thinking!
This is a statue of Harriet Tubman that can be seen in Harlem. Mayor Paul Dyster plans to build a similar statue, and dedicate a park to Tubman, here in Niagara Falls. Perhaps Mark Hamister could erect a statue to some other marginal historical figure with little or no connection to the city and spend even more money on his hotel!
Giving everyone in Niagara Falls a cool leather jacket would lead visiting tourists at Hamister’s new hotel to believe they are not visiting some declining American Rust Belt hellhole, but a trendy European hotspot instead!


How’s he going to do it?

How is Buffalo developer Mark Hamister going make his common, cookie cutter Hyatt Place hotel seem like it cost $35.7 million to build when really it will only cost $18 million?

Clearly, he’s going to have to be very creative and, since creativity is one of things we specialize in here at the Niagara Falls Reporter, we thought we’d help him out.

So here they are, the Top 10 ways in which Hamister can artificially inflate the cost of his hotel project and soak New York State taxpayers out of millions of dollars in direct aid. Because the more he appears to spend, the more the state has agreed to give him!

Number 10: Reward Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, who gifted Hamister with a downtown property appraised at $1.5 million in return for a token payment of $100,000, with a free bar tab for the rest of his natural life. The mayor’s love affair with beer is well known, and according to certain washed up rock stars he hosted at the Hard Rock Café concert series, he sometimes swills the brew to wash down a shot or two or three of Jaegermiester, an expensive high proof schnapps. Assuming he lives another 25 years, the mayor could quite conceivably consume $456,250 before his poor liver shuts down.

Number Nine: Gold plated toilet seats. A company called Touch of Class offers the Roma toilet seat and cover, accented with gold plating, for just $99! Installing the units in each of the Hamister hotel’s 128 rooms would add another $12,672 to the hotel’s cost.

Number eight: Poor planning. When Hamister first announced his hotel project in 2012, the flea bag flophouse was to haven cost $22.4 million. By 2013, the projected cost had risen to $25.3 million and, by the beginning of this year, Hamister was telling state officials and the media that the actual cost would be $35.7 million. In just three years, according to Hamister, the cost of the project had risen by more than 62 percent, despite significant downgrades to the actual scope of the project itself. That’s called poor planning. If it wasn’t for the very real possibility that some sort of scam is being perpetrated here, it would be obvious that Hamister has no idea about building a hotel.

The Number Seven way in which Hamister can artificially double the cost of the hotel he’s proposed downtown in one that is very familiar to Dyster, who employed it successfully on both the North Main Street courthouse project and the new train station he’s building on Whirlpool Street: Change orders. Cost overruns on construction projects are often the result of an escalation of commitment to a particular course of action. Deeply rooted in social psychology and organizational behavior, studies have shown there is a tendency among dysfunctional people and organizations to become locked-in and entrapped in a particular course of action and thereby 'throw good money after bad' to make the venture succeed. This defies conventional rationality but has been a common phenomenon in Niagara Falls during what are known here as the “Dyster years.”

Number Six: Build a monorail. Think of it! A monorail to transport the many visiting kayakers to the new kayak launches Dyster has built, or to bring those dropped off in one of the city’s most dangerous and least hospitable neighborhoods at the mayor’s new North End train station to the downtown tourist district, where they really thought they were going in the first place! It’s a no brainer, really, and, happily for Hamister, would add millions to the cost of the project!

Number Five: The fifth best way to make Hamister’s nondescript destination seem more lavish and expensive than it actually is, quite frankly, to just make stuff up. Hamister has already shown himself to be quite adept at this and, maybe, just maybe, making stuff up will actually make it seem as though he spent $35.7 million instead of $18 million.

Number Four: Hamister might take another page out of Dyster’s playbook and erect a statue in the lobby of his new hotel depicting a marginal historical figure whose connection to Niagara Falls is tenuous at best. Dyster chose Harriet Tubman, who may or may not have passed through the area once on a moving train but most certainly never set foot here, and it boosted the cost of his new train station by millions of dollars. If Hamister is looking for a marginal historical figure, we would suggest Mary Woronov, the Andy Warhol superstar whose 2002 novel “Niagara” presaged interest in  the Honeymoon Capitol of the World by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community so beloved by Kristen Grandinetti and other area politicians. As with Tubman, there is no reason to believe that Woronov ever actually visited the Falls, unlike, say, Abraham Lincoln, who came her a couple of times and even wrote an essay about it though no one has proposed erecting a statue of him.

The Number Three way for Hamister to make his humble hotel seem to cost twice as much as it actually did and, at the same time, win the hearts and minds of the local populace would be to buy everyone in Niagara Falls a cool leather jacket. According to a study released last week by the Pacific Parenting Institute found that owning a seriously cool leather jacket is significantly more fulfilling than raising a child to adulthood. "Our research suggests that the feeling of purchasing a really amazing leather jacket and then proudly watching over time as it gradually becomes broken in and forms perfectly to your body is, by a very wide margin, more rewarding than conceiving a child and then raising it from birth to 18 years of age," said lead researcher Dr. Marcus Aiello, adding that it was on average 63 percent more gratifying to regularly condition a leather jacket that had awesome vertical zippers on the sleeves than it was to read nightly bedtime stories to a son or daughter. “When study participants also obtained just the right pair of faded jeans and some vintage harness motorcycle boots to go with their badass leather jacket, these enormous feelings of pride and satisfaction reached levels that caused similar feelings stemming from attending a child's college graduation to become statistically irrelevant.” Aiello also noted that the average cost of raising a child is estimated to be $400,000, an amount researchers pointed out was much higher than the price of a mint-condition 1971 supercharged Plymouth Barracuda.

Number Two: If Hamister could just figure out a way to include all the campaign contributions he hands out to political hacks like Dyster, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer into his construction costs, he could quite likely triple the projected budget for his hotel.

And the Number One way Hamister could make his low rent hotel seem like it cost far more than it actually did would be to hire Paris Hilton to meet and greet the flyover state sightseers who would be caught dead in a Hyatt Place hotel. Hamister initially announced that his resort style hotel in Niagara Falls would be a Hilton, known throughout the world for class and opulence. Apparently, after taking a look at the erstwhile developer’s bank account, the good folks at Hilton said thanks but no thanks. But, fortunately for Hamister, Paris Hilton -- the most visible member of the mega wealthy family -- earns her living by making personal appearances. For a mere $250,000, she’ll show up for the opening of a refrigerator door. At that rate, Hamister could glom on to the coveted Hilton name for 72 nights, spread out over several years if need be, in order to reconcile the $35.7 million he claims his hotel will cost with the $18 million it will actually cost.

Ridiculous? Yes. But no more ridiculous than the scam Dyster and Hamister have been running on the people of Niagara Falls for the past three years. They have become as tired and boring as their imaginary hotel, which has never been anything more than an apparatus to siphon off public money and pander for votes here.






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What’s the Motive? Why Would Hamister Claim $18 Million Hotel Costs $36 Million?
Top 10 Ways Hamister Can Really Make His Hotel Cost $35.7 Million
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