Erie County Legislator Lynn M. Marinelli (D-Buffalo, Kenmore) today announced that a resolution she sponsored has won unanimous approval during the April 11 session of the Erie County Legislature.
The measure, which expresses support for the continued operation of the Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat rides from the U.S. side of Niagara Falls, was co-sponsored by all of the legislators – Democrat, Republican, Independent and Conservative.
“As Chair of the Legislature’s Community Enrichment Committee and a member of the board of Visit Buffalo Niagara, I am heartened that my colleagues saw the merit in supporting the private investment being made by the Maid of the Mist to enable it to continue operating its iconic sightseeing tours from the American side of Niagara Falls,” Marinelli began.
Marinelli noted that the former Buffalo Convention & Visitors Bureau incorporated the name “Niagara” into its identity, now known as “Visit Buffalo Niagara,” recognizing that the No. 1 tourism destination in our region is Niagara Falls. Since Erie County has an abundance of quality lodging, many visitors stay in hotels in the Buffalo area while planning their sightseeing visits to Niagara Falls and Niagara County. Once in Erie, they learn there is much in the way of shopping, dining and cultural amenities to keep families busy for extended stays. Erie County reaps the benefit of the bed tax and sales tax revenues these tourists leave behind.
“The Maid of the Mist has continuously operated a one-of-a kind sightseeing boat experience since 1846,” Marinelli continued. “The Maid has delighted young and old – from royalty to regular folks – for many generations.”
Marinelli’s initiative also supports continued state investment from the New York State Greenway Fund for ongoing infrastructure improvements to walkways and other visitor amenities. Last September, Governor Cuomo announced phase two of a three-year, $25 million commitment to making needed improvements to Niagara Falls Reservation State Park.
“We in Erie County are fortunate to have, right in our backyard, the No. 5 Top World Destination designated by Travel and Leisure Magazine. The state investment, paired with privately funded capital improvements, will continue to create jobs for our region and maintain the competitiveness of Niagara Falls as a world class destination. Tourism is one of our top industries in New York State, and we have to do everything we can to attract visitors from across the United States and around the world to the Buffalo Niagara region,” Marinelli concluded.