Niagara Falls

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“You know the guys used to joke to me, they’d be like, man Goodyear’s been good to you Harry. They gave you a wife, because that’s where I met Diane, you have a father-in-law that you worked for, and the other thing you got at Goodyear was bladder cancer so you know, you got everything."

We’re well into the holiday season, when I sit down with Harry and Diane Weist in their renovated farmhouse in western New York. Our conversation’s interrupted a few times by their little chihuahua, who likes to get in on the act.

grilled cheese/flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says it’s now up to the voters to decide whether they want to expand gambling in New York. He’s signed into law a plan to build casinos upstate, but the public must approve a change in the state’s constitution in order for it to move forward.   

The new law permits up to four gambling casinos in upstate New York, as long as a referendum on November’s ballot is approved to amend the state’s constitution to allow the expanded gambling.

Cuomo says it will be up to the voters to decide.

Cuomo brings gambling revenue to western New York

Jul 31, 2013
Daniel Robison/Innovation Trail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent Wednesday traveling to three western New York cities to deliver gambling revenue that was withheld by the Seneca Nation of Indians during a four-year dispute with the state. Cuomo and Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder, Sr. handed out a total of nearly $140 million to Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca.

While in Niagara Falls, Cuomo said these back payments will be very helpful to those local governments.

Ashley Hassett / WBFO/Innovation Trail

The City of Niagara Falls is set to receive a lump sum of $89 million after the settlement of a long-standing dispute between New York state and the Seneca Nation over gambling revenues.

The first order of business for the city is to pay back over $22 million borrowed from its general fund that’s been depleted over the past several years while the state and Senecas were at odds.

nygovernorcuomo

The lengthy dispute over casino royalties was resolved in Niagara Falls on Thursday with the signing of new deal between the state of New York and the Seneca Nation of Indians. 

This deal is the third in 30 days between the state and upstate Indian nations since the governor launched his initiative to push for additional casinos (or as he calls them "resort destinations"), in upstate.

What's in it for the Seneca? Support from Albany to uphold their rights to run exclusive gaming operations in western New York.

Ashley Hassett

The Maid of the Mist tour boats have been working around Niagara Falls for 167 years. Development has just resumed on the operation’s new maintenance dock, after delays caused by local opposition.

Daniel Robison/Innovation Trail

Governor Andrew Cuomo is reportedly putting together a proposal that would see a second, non-Indian operate casino open in downtown Niagara Falls. The question is whether the market could sustain another casino.

Niagara Falls is testing a novel approach to attracting new residents. The city is offering to pay a portion of recent college graduates' student debt in exchange for living downtown for two years.

Will Wallenda's wirewalk help Niagara Falls' economy?

Jun 15, 2012
Daniel Robison / Innovation Trail/WBFO

Nik Wallenda will walk across Niagara Falls on a highwire tonight.

The city of Niagara Falls, New York sees Wallenda’s wirewalk as its best change in decades to revive tourism and spark economic development, but measuring Wallenda’s long-term impact may be tough, assuming there is one at all.