Tonawanda News

Local News

March 14, 2013

River cruise may operate out of Gateway Harbor

Tonawanda News — The North Tonawanda City Council will likely move to allow a new river cruise business to operate out of Gateway Harbor beginning this summer. 

The topic was broached this week after two Grand Island residents who started the business approached Mayor Rob Ortt with the idea in February. 

Ortt said the business concept, called Niagara River Cruises, will be launched regardless of council approval, as at least one stopover has already been approved at the Four Points Sheraton in Niagara Falls. However, the council seems poised to back the idea as well, with a 40-person capacity aboard the ship would generate additional tourist dollars to the banks of the Erie Canal. Ortt said the owners are working on using the pier in Tonawanda as another desired stopover.  

The owners, who will meet with the council in the coming weeks, plan to launch the venture by May and are hoping to use Gateway Harbor as the focal point for unloading and loading its clients. 

“We’re making sure that logistically that would work,” Ortt said. “You’re in front of the Remington building, you’re minutes from Webster Street where they would offer these cruises to the tourists. I think anytime somebody wants to bring people to North Tonawanda they’re going to spend their money.” 

The council will now consider whether the boat will be able to dock in an area near a rail bridge over the Erie Canal. Ortt said the city would require Niagara River Cruises to pay a fee for the use of electricity and water, though he sees the economic benefits for local businesses as significant.  

The business will charge $20 per person for all-day tickets and $12 for shorter rides along the canal and the Niagara River. The next step for the council will be to create a fee structure and for the owners of Niagara River Cruises to obtain the proper insurance. 

“We realize that they’re a start-up business,” Ortt said. “But they really want to (start) in Gateway Harbor. I think the fact that you have people from outside the area wanting to be there when they could have went anywhere else, that shows that the secret is out about North Tonawanda and we’ll have another thing going on downtown this summer.” 

Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.

1
Text Only
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook
Front page
NDN Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins