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JUNE 30 - JULY 08, 2015

What to Look for in the Hamister Hotel

JUNE 30, 2015

The Hamister hotel contract with the City of Niagara Falls and the New York State Agency, USA Niagara Development Corp. was filed in late December 2013 with the Niagara Falls city clerk.

At 155 pages, the contract provides that Hamister would apply for his hotel franchise agreement by Jan. 11, 2014, have financing in place by May 11, 2014 and start construction by Aug. 17, 2014.

None of that happened.

But a clause in the contract gave Hamister more time: “one year and three months more time” to decide if he can/wants to build the hotel - until the Spring of 2015.

That too passed.

Then there was another clause called an "Automatic Extension of Second Contingency Period Under Certain Circumstances," which relates to the present tenants of 310 Rainbow, the lot which Hamister is to build his hotel.

John and Debbie Guido are tenants and they pay $27,000 per year to the city, and use the lot park about 60,000 cars during summer on the unpaved lot.

The lease with Guido and the City of Niagara Falls reads that the city "may terminate the agreement with 30 days written notice if (city) intends to build a structure."

Those are the exact words in the contract – which you can read online on our website.

The Hamister contract (which you can also read online ----)  with the City of Niagara Falls and USA Niagara reads that, should Guido fail to vacate, the Hamister contract is extended for two more years, until 2017, without Hamister losing control of the site.

 The contract with Hamister further reads that if Hamister loses his financing, or loses his hotel franchise, because Guido delays vacating the lot, Hamister can cancel the deal and get form the city and the state up to $780,000 in lost monies, or he can permit the city and/or USA Niagara to borrow money for him to build his hotel.

Last week, the Niagara Gazette reported that the Dyster administration gave Guido his required 30 day notice to vacate since Hamister filed for a building permit and the city claims it intends to build a structure (Hamister’s hotel) on the site.

Sources say Guido has retained a lawyer and intends to stay put… perhaps wisely since it is clear that as of last week Hamister did not have financing to build what he claims is a $36 million hotel that is really an $18 million hotel (by all construction standards).

The Guidos surely do not want to lose their $600,000 per summer parking lot revenue on a bogus plan to build.

Or said another way, the Guidos do not want to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars this season so that Paul Dyster can have a golden shovel groundbreaking press event – but with no hotel being built.

But, since the contract with Hamister calls for a fee to be paid to Hamister of more than three quarters of a million dollars if Guido does not vacate the lot, perhaps everyone wins if Guido stays put.

Even if no one else will report this, why shouldn’t the intelligent readers who come to the Niagara Falls Reporter for information not learn about the potential back deals that less intelligent readers don’t care to bother their little heads about?

After all why would they put it in the contract about paying Hamister if Guido does not back out if that is not a possibility?

The deal therefore seems to be falling into one of three options:

1. Guido actually leaves and Dyster/Hamister and maybe even Gov. Cuomo have that “golden shovel press event” just before primary day.

They will move a little earth around, take a lot of pictures; and gushing stories will be written about the great development (actually a small Hyatt Place).

The primary comes and goes with Dyster crowing about the Hamister “tipping point” hotel development finally beginning (thanks to him).

But no real work will be done, including the essential putting in the foundational footers this year. Then, as election comes near, Dyster will announce that the work will begin in the spring since winter is almost here.

Hamister will have the winter to try to get funding.

After the election it won’t matter if Hamister builds or not.

If Dyster loses he won’t care and if he wins what difference does it make if Hamister builds or not? Maybe he will give the $600,000 per year parking lot to Hamister.

2. Guido does not vacate the lot and Dyster puts the blame on Guido and says Hamister would have started but for Guido and that Dyster will get his law department (actually Hodgson Russ, Buffalo lawyers) to get them out, by golly.

And Hamister will start in the spring, you betcha.

3. Hamister really starts the project. For real.  You will know if this is true if he builds the footers and starts framing of the hotel this year and gets the roof on.

Please stay tuned….





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Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
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