Battle of the Boats

July 7, 2014 Updated Jul 7, 2014 at 9:12 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

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July 7, 2014 Updated Jul 7, 2014 at 9:12 AM EDT

Competition is hot as Maid of the Mist and Hornblower Cruises vie for tourists in Niagara Falls. That's the focus of a report in this week's Business First. An estimated two million tourists ride the Niagara Falls boats every year. Maid of the Mist is the veteran. They've been carrying passengers on the U.S. side since 1846. Now San Francisco-based Hornblower Cruises departs from the Canadian side. The more these companies advertise, the more popular the tourist attraction becomes and it means more attention for Niagara Falls. You can get full details on each company and the cruises they offer in this week's Business First.

Meanwhile, there's a hotel boom in downtown Buffalo. At the start of this year, Buffalo had about 1,900 hotel roms and more are on the way. Tourism officials say hotels want to be in place and established before people start showing up so this could signal growth for Buffalo. But occupancy is down for existing hotels compared to last year. May numbers were off by about 7 percent from last year, with occupancy topping 70 percent in downtown Buffalo.

Business First lists the largest downtown hotels, based on the number of rooms. The Adam's Mark tops the list, followed by the Hyatt Regency, then Embassy Suites, the Holiday Inn is fourth and Comfort Suites is at number five. You can get the complete list and more tourism details in this week's Business First.

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