Washington, D.C. – With contract discussions underway deciding the future of Maid of the Mist boat tours at Niagara Falls, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is urging the Niagara Parks Commission to make a priority of protecting the 150 jobs the tours provide on the American side of the falls, and the tourism draw they provide the local economy. Senator Gillibrand also emphasized maintaining the famous Maid of the Mist brand, which has been servicing tourists worldwide for 125 years.
In a letter to Niagara Parks Commission Chair Janice Thomson, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “The Maid of the Mist is one of the premier attractions on the United States side of Niagara Falls and is a top economic driver, with overwhelming tourist enjoyment of the Maid’s safe, pleasant and affordable experience. As you make decisions on continuing the current contract or beginning work with a new company, I want to stress that you make every effort to maintain U.S. jobs and uphold the quality of service currently provided.”
“For decades the Maid of the Mist has been a mainstay of the tourism industry in Niagara Falls, New York, offering visitors a unique, close-up view of the great natural wonder,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. “The Maid has operated in a safe and tasteful manner that has gained it international recognition as a premier world tourism attraction. In recent months, we have become aware on the U.S. side that operation of the American-based portion of the attraction is dependent upon service infrastructure on the Canadian side, but that so far as we know, we have no formal standing in the process of selecting a Canadian operator. We therefore urge our colleagues on the Canadian side to weigh this factor carefully in making their decision, and give strong consideration to retaining the Maid of the Mist as operator in the interest of continuity and stability in our crucial tourism industry.”
“The Maid of the Mist Corporation and brand name is a vital asset to the hospitality and tourism industry in Niagara Falls USA. For decades, the Maid of the Mist has been synonymous with excellence and has offered tremendous levels of customer service in the Niagara Falls destination,” said John H. Percy, President and CEO of the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. “By holding the line on ticket prices, the Maid of the Mist experience is offered at an affordable price point for all visitors. Additionally, the Glynn family has remained dedicated to the local community, supporting local programs and institutions of higher education on both sides of the border.”
Senator Gillibrand’s full letter to Commissioner Thomson:
Dear Commissioner Thomson,
I am writing in response to recent reports that the future of the Maid of the Mist may be in jeopardy due to ongoing lease negotiations. I am deeply concerned about the implications this may have on the tourism industry in Niagara Falls, New York. For over 125 years the Maid of the Mist has been servicing tourists from all over the world, and these iconic boat tours are ingrained in the history of Niagara Falls.
Currently, the Maid of the Mist provides tours to approximately one million riders each year on the American side and 2.5 million riders in total, as well as employs approximately 150 seasonal workers on the American. The Maid of the Mist is one of the premier attractions on the United States side of Niagara Falls and is a top economic driver, with overwhelming tourist enjoyment of the Maid’s safe, pleasant and affordable experience. As you make decisions on continuing the current contract or beginning work with a new company, I want to stress that you make every effort to maintain U.S. jobs and uphold the quality of service currently provided. Furthermore, the “Maid of the Mist” brand has become central to Niagara Falls as a tourist destination and it is very important that regardless of who is operating the tours, this brand will live on.
I encourage you to take these factors into serious consideration, and to continue operations at the Maid of the Mist, carrying on a century-old tradition. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my Buffalo office should you require any assistance or to further discuss my request.