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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 3:31 PM
Razor Razor is offline
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Can Niagara Falls Pull Off A Vegas?

I brought this up on this site before hidden in a discussion.

I've been to Niagara Falls maybe twice, and that was enough for me.
I've been to Vegas only once, and I just know that I would never tire of visiting that place.

First of all, and with regard to the Falls, once you see them, do the boat tour and maybe visit the wax museum, all you're left with is a multitude of tacky souvenir shops doling out campy coffee mugs and T- shirt carried over from the 70's. While both sides aren't exactly boom towns., The American side seems even more economically depressed. Vegas however , did it right.It was real eye opening when I visited. It's not just the gambling either..It's the shows, and the general vibe and energy of the city..It attracts "A" listers in the full spectrum of the entertainment industry..Although both tourist spots have different MO's, I can't help feel that Niagara Falls is like a cheap, stale version of a Vegas. It's almost like Niagara Falls was there first, and Las Vegas said "okay we see what you are trying to do, but we'll raise you.(pardon the pun) and do it up right". We'll even do up elaborate lobbies, and not limit your stay to tired old Motels.

I know it's far fetched, but I can only imagine a Lundy's Lane becoming like a strip..Heck, it already has the Falls as a backdrop and is a tourist destination to begin with.Maybe the Canadian side can be left as is, and the American side do a big push to up the game and take care of the Casinos and shows, and keep the Canadian side status quo and remain family friendly and for newlyweds..I know that the province and/or State would have to make a special exemption to administer more gambling licenses and maybe keep the bars open all night, but it is doeable I feel. It just would require some political will and some major entrepreneurship, and partnership from the big players in the entertainment industry..You build one, and the rest will follow like a snowball effect...As it stands now, the whole region feels like a "must see only once" kind of place, with nothing to draw you back. In my sim city world, I would bulldoze all of Lundy's lane and re-do it save for both the wax and Guinness Book of World Records museums, along with that old burger joint with flying saucer which would all be left up for posterity.

So what are your thoughts?..Can it be done, or is the climate just too cold for this kind of vision?.How about on a seasonal basis?. Am I crazy for even thinking this ?

Last edited by Razor; Oct 19, 2019 at 3:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 4:13 PM
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cool story, bro

The Canadian side is where all the fun is at
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 4:18 PM
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Only if they open up a Cheesecake Factory.
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  #4  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 5:25 PM
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I'm actually at Niagara Falls right now on the American side. Been here twice before. It's just as much of a Dump as I remember it being. And like before it's 70% Indian tourists. Never quite been able to figure out why so many Indians come here. I've been to most tourist sites in America. This is the only one that always is predominately Indian. There must be an answer somehow to why this is.
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 5:27 PM
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It’s a great natural monument, surrounded on one side by economic collapse and the other by garish tasteless crap.
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 5:48 PM
Razor Razor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_denizen View Post
It’s a great natural monument, surrounded on one side by economic collapse and the other by garish tasteless crap.
Exactly! But can it be saved and be brought up to date with all the kitsch expunged, or (to analogize) will it forever remain Houdini or that magician who saws the women in half?

Last edited by Razor; Oct 19, 2019 at 6:02 PM.
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 6:18 PM
Maldive Maldive is offline
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Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
I'm actually at Niagara Falls right now on the American side. Been here twice before. It's just as much of a Dump as I remember it being. And like before it's 70% Indian tourists. Never quite been able to figure out why so many Indians come here. I've been to most tourist sites in America. This is the only one that always is predominately Indian. There must be an answer somehow to why this is.
I'll ask my Indo/Canadian wife and get back to you. I'll bet travel agents are sending the tourist component of the second largest middle class in the world (India) to the wrong side of the Falls.
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  #8  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 8:35 PM
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I wonder how much this has to do with Niagara Falls existing largely in the shadow of other cities especially Toronto. Whenever people visit my family in Toronto we take them to Niagara Falls for the day but almost always come back for dinner.

I'm sure it's the same for many others, where the falls are just one stop on a larger trip to Toronto, or Southern Ontario/Quebec or the US Northeast. So if they want entertainment, shows, shopping etc they'll likely want to do that during their time in Toronto, NYC, Montreal or even Buffalo instead.

Unlike Vegas, entertainment is still not the main reason to go to NF. I think it's very difficult to outshine the original and there is and only ever will be one Vegas. NF won't match Vegas just like Atlantic City also won't. The entertainment in NF exists because it only takes an hour to see the falls so people want other things to do for the rest of their day in the area. Whether that's Marineland, the waterparks, the aviary, the butterfly house, the various attractions to see the Niagara Gorge and rapids, the botanical gardens, the winery tours, Niagara on the Lake, the imax, the Skylon Tower... there are a variety of attractions to occupy visitors for the rest of their day and for the region to benefit economically.

But most visitors will be more focussed on seeing the falls themselves and Toronto.
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  #9  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 9:09 PM
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I don't see the Canadian side of the fall in quite as poor a light as some here.

Lets be clear, there's much room for improvement.

But you do have the Shaw Festival in nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake, you do have the wineries and the Butterfly conservatory, and you do have 2 decent sized amusement parks nearby (Marineland and Darien Lake on the U.S. side), there are several nice hotels; not 5 star, but hardly backwards motels.

In winter, the Festival of Lights is actually quite good and one of the larger scale Christmas displays in North America.

****

Let's also keep in mind, a lot more development is coming down the pipe in the falls, housing for tens of thousands more, and lots more retail, amongst other things.

Take a look at Paradise Walk that's coming up...

https://www.retail-insider.com/retai...kind-in-canada

***

Now, about making it better.

The biggest thing is that it has to have more ability to draw in order to justify more high-end attractions.

That's about transportation links to Toronto first and foremost.

GO Train service on weekends, 4 trips per day has just been made year round.

But connections on weekdays remain poor.

Once GO Service is 6x per day (every 2 hours) every day of the week you'll see a noticeable increase in traffic and greater investment will follow.

Regional Transit will also be key for people coming into the Falls from Toronto, by train.

That is on its way, but will have to be substantially better than what's in place now.

Once that's done, the next step is really tacking Marineland which is hopelessly dated and under utilized in terms of its potential.

Marineland has over 1,000 acres of land, and shifting it from marine/animal park to something more 'Six Flags/Cedar Fair' would be a substantial attraction.

The central part of town could certainly use something more substantial in fine dining and shopping and I think that's do-able if you can get base traffic up about 25%, with growth potential of 50-100%.

I think a good deal of that is likely incoming, but it will depend on some decisions not yet taken.
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  #10  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 9:48 PM
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OK if the falls aren't touched

Niagara Falls is one of the great natural wonders. Keep the casino hotels & other attractions a tasteful distance away from the falls (with the views at the top of the hotels in the sky lounges/restaurants), and I'm all for it. Can't let the Canadians have all the money. That said, the best views of the falls (especially Horsehoe) are on the Canadian side. That won't change. If the attractions and casinos are there most Americans will stay on the American side, since customs at the border are sometimes a bit of a wait. The business alone from the Buffalo area and other upstate NY cities alone would pay for the upgrades.
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 11:53 PM
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  #12  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2019, 3:09 PM
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^ Yes exactly...More of that ^ + shows.Even on a smaller scale, with the falls as a backdrop..Kind of like a blending of two tourist type attraction into one.
My idea is only conceptual/theoretical though..Just for discussion.

The Falls never was meant to be a gambling mecca..Agreed..It's not how it rolls. Having said that, it needs some serious upgrades, and it was good to read about some future plans..I still feel that it could be Toronto,Hamilton and Buffalo's Atlantic City though..Would require some serious role changing..More "Sin" injected,.Some live shows and a few more casinos..It already has that built in tourist element ..Right or wrong, I've seen some families dragging their kids with them In Vegas. Niagara Falls can keep the daytime for families, and the nights for the adults..They are there anyways. Why not some more nighttime choices? There is almost 8.0 million people in the GTA More if you count South Western Ontario and Buffalo..Currently, what prompts them to say "Hey let's go to Niagara Falls for the weekend!" more then once or twice throughout any given year or two?

Last edited by Razor; Oct 20, 2019 at 3:36 PM.
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2019, 4:14 PM
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I find gambling extremely boring and I don't understand this Las Vegas appeal. I guess very repressed people might find it liberating, although it could be found anywhere else. Prostitution, low paid and low skilled jobs, people struggling to survive don't appeal to me.

I don't know Niagara Falls, but according to forumers, it seems a very unimaginative place and aside the falls, there is nothing else to see. I don't think gambling would help at all.
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2019, 4:18 PM
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Maybe if Niagara Falls can figure out an effective money laundering scheme for the mob. That's the missing catalyst.
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  #15  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2019, 4:55 PM
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There is a large 5,000 seat performance space under construction right now that will up the entertainment facilities significantly.

Another large casino on the Canadian side beside Fallsview would likely be a good step, and better transportation links.

The problem with Niagara Falls is that while it’s a border location, about 80% of the attractions are on the Canadian side. Crossing the border might not seem like a big deal for a lot of people on this board, but the % of Americans without passports is pretty substantial. Just being on the wrong side of the river is going to be a big limiter.

Currently it acts as the gambling resort town a short distance away from Toronto, sort of how Atlantic City serves that for NYC and Philly. It’s going to have to really step it up to start attracting a wider audience.
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  #16  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2019, 5:16 PM
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Originally Posted by yuriandrade View Post
I find gambling extremely boring and I don't understand this Las Vegas appeal. I guess very repressed people might find it liberating, although it could be found anywhere else. Prostitution, low paid and low skilled jobs, people struggling to survive don't appeal to me.

I don't know Niagara Falls, but according to forumers, it seems a very unimaginative place and aside the falls, there is nothing else to see. I don't think gambling would help at all.
I'm not a gambler myself, but was just trying to think of more attractions that are symbiotic to visiting the Falls other then what they have now which isn't very much really.. Casinos were the easy answer.I was actually thinking of the shows that come with the Casinos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
There is a large 5,000 seat performance space under construction right now that will up the entertainment facilities significantly.

Another large casino on the Canadian side beside Fallsview would likely be a good step, and better transportation links.

The problem with Niagara Falls is that while it’s a border location, about 80% of the attractions are on the Canadian side. Crossing the border might not seem like a big deal for a lot of people on this board, but the % of Americans without passports is pretty substantial. Just being on the wrong side of the river is going to be a big limiter.

Currently it acts as the gambling resort town a short distance away from Toronto, sort of how Atlantic City serves that for NYC and Philly. It’s going to have to really step it up to start attracting a wider audience.
Yes exactly!.That 5000 seat performance space will help for sure..Is the Falls really even an Atlantic City for Toronto right now though?..Yes to improving Transportation links.
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2019, 6:13 PM
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Not that anyone cares but the Niagara Parks system is dotted with rather glorious parks, a "Butterfly Museum" and the parkway along the river is one of the nicest drives on the continent... skip "historic" Niagara-On-the-Lake" (unless u need a choc fudge fix or a live theatre fix) and you get wine... lots and lots of wines every where (some with rather wonderful restaurants/chefs).

Go to Jordan, Ontario. Used to be a nowhere dump (cheap beer for my teenage gang)... now worth a visit and a sip or shop ;-)
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  #18  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2019, 6:15 PM
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yeah upstate new york is beautiful too, but it seems difficult to attract vacationers to the area.
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2019, 7:41 PM
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Is the Falls really even an Atlantic City for Toronto right now though?
I've always thought of it that way, just like Wasaga Beach is Toronto's Jersey Shore.
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2019, 7:50 PM
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I've always thought of it that way, just like Wasaga Beach is Toronto's Jersey Shore.
Are there any casinos within Toronto city limits?
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