NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario -- It stands 30 stories high, took six years
to develop and its price tag already has exceeded $760 million.
When the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort opens June 8, it will
have the distinction of being the second-largest privately funded
construction project ever attempted in Canada. Only Toronto's
Pearson Airport has cost more.
And it's being promoted as much more than a resort -- the city
is counting on this 2.5 million-square-foot complex to lead the
rebirth of tourism on the Canadian side of the falls.
"The Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort will revitalize the
community," said Jim Dougan, president and chief operating officer
of the Falls Management Co., a consortium of five partners
responsible for developing and managing the property in cooperation
with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. Hyatt Hotels' Hyatt
Gaming division will manage the property.
Resort officials predict the property will be instrumental in
raising the city's number of annual visitors from the current 14
million to 30 million by the end of 2016. Only a small percentage
of those visitors, however, will actually stay overnight at the
property -- the resort has only 368 guest rooms and suites.
The resort's expectations are reflected in its
200,000-square-foot casino, which officials said is larger than the
one at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, a property that has 5,000
The Niagara Fallsview also features a 15,000-square-foot health
and fitness spa and a 1,500 seat ballroom (Canada native Paul Anka
will be the inaugural performer). Taking advantage of Niagara
Falls' traditional positioning as a honeymoon destination, the
resort also will have a wedding chapel on the grounds.
The complex will include an expansive shopping mall and 10
restaurants. Resort officials said one restaurant planned will be
called Pheromone, which will feature foods claimed to have
But of all the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort's attributes, the
most significant is its location.
Situated on a 23-acre site on Fallsview Boulevard, the resort
overlooks both the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side and the
American Falls on the U.S. side. All of the property's rooms
overlook the falls.
Officials said another 30 projects are in the works for the
area, including tourist attractions and hotel developments.
To contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].