NIAGARA FALLS, Ont., Feb. 18, 1998 - The Minister of Economic Development,
Trade and Tourism
announced today that Falls Management Company has been selected by the independent Selection Committee
for the Niagara Falls Casino/Gateway Project to begin negotiations with the Ontario Casino Corporation (``OCC'')
to finance, design, construct and operate the development.
Falls Management Company (``FMC'') is led by Hyatt, one of the largest
and most successful resort and tourism
companies with 179 hotels and resorts throughout the world. Currently, Hyatt operates seven casinos and is a
partner with Circus Circus on an eighth casino.
FMC has selected the Murray Hill site, overlooking the Falls, and proposes
that the casino complex will feature
100,000 square feet of gaming, a 350-room hotel, extensive meeting and exhibition space, a world-class retail mall,
and a significant entertainment complex. The casino and related development will offer a unique blend of
year-round experiences, including family-oriented entertainment and world-class accommodation.
In addition to the casino complex, the consortium proposes to develop
a new 12,000 seat, indoor/outdoor
amphitheatre and entertainment venue. It will also develop ``River Country'', a major addition to the existing
Marineland. The proposal also features a monorail as part of the people-mover system currently being planned by
the City of Niagara Falls. The casino and tourist attractors are estimated to cost from $500-800 million.
``The Niagara Falls Casino/Gateway Project will strengthen Region's
position as one of the most exciting tourist
destinations in the world,'' said Al Palladini, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism. ``As the
single largest tourism investment in the history of this region, this casino and tourist development will be a
magnet for attracting new tourists, extending the length of tourist visits to the Niagara Region and stimulating
even more investment,'' added the Minister.
The casino complex as currently conceived will create more than 5,000
direct jobs. Construction of the casino
complex will create approximately 5,000 person years of employment.
In addition to Hyatt, other participants in FMC are Shiplake Gaming
Corporation, Highland Gaming L.P., Olympic
V Associates L.P., and Falls Entertainment Corporation.
Shiplake Gaming Corporation is owned by Toronto's Latner family who
own a diverse range of interests
including Canada's largest real estate development and property management firms and health services.
Highland Gaming L.P. is controlled by Neil Bluhm, co-founder and president of Chicago-based JMB Realty
Corporation, one of the largest real estate and development firms in North America. Mr. Bluhm is also
co-chairman of the board and principal shareholder of Urban Shopping Centres Inc., a successful shopping
centre company in the United States.
Olympic V. Associates, L.P. is controlled by Paul L. Snyder, whose business
experience includes consumer
products, the hospitality industry, tourist attractions, entertainment, and real estate development. Mr. Snyder
developed and owned Darien Lake Theme Park and Performing Arts Centre, one of the most successful
amusement park and entertainment complexes in the United States.
Falls Entertainment Corporation is owned by Mr. Richard Boxer and Mr.
Andrzej Kepinski, who have been
involved in the development of FMC's project from the outset.
The OCC and FMC will immediately begin negotiations on the relevant
business and operating agreements. The
deadline for agreement on key issues is 60 days. If the negotiations on the business agreements are
unsuccessful, the OCC has the option to consider another proponent. Once business agreements are reached,
implementation planning will begin. Both the project concept and estimated costs are considered preliminary and
will be extensively reviewed and refined by FMC and the OCC with assistance from the City of Niagara Falls as
Niagara Falls Casino/Gateway Project Selection Process
In November 1995, the Ontario Government announced that Niagara Falls
would become the third community to
host a commercial casino. The ultimate goal of the Niagara Falls Casino/Gateway Project is to assist in
transforming the Region into a unique, first-class, year-round tourist destination - which would draw and expand
on the existing tourist base and increase visitors' length of stay.
The Ontario Casino Corporation (``OCC'') issued a Request for Proposals
for the Niagara Falls Casino/Gateway
Project on September 12, 1996. The RFP called for proposals for a full-service casino complex and tourist
development. The private sector was provided with maximum flexibility in proposing the size and scope of the
casino complex and the type of tourist attractor(s) to be developed.
The deadline for proposals was March 13, 1997. Four companies submitted
proposals to bid on the project: Falls
Management Company; Fallsview; Seven Wonders of Niagara; and Trump International Casino Ltd.
An independent Selection Committee reviewed the proposals to select the one that best met the selection criteria.
The Committee's decision was based on the merits of the proposals, the advice of experts in the casino industry,
an evaluation of the bidders' ability to develop and finance the project, and their management experience and
Of the four companies that submitted proposals, the Preferred Proponent
was considered to have most closely
met the selection criteria for the project, thus allowing it to begin negotiations with the OCC on the relevant
business and operating agreements. The deadline for agreement on key issues is 60 days. Following the
successful outcome of these negotiations, the Preferred Proponent will assume responsibility for operating the
Upon completion of the negotiations, both the project concept and preliminary
budget will be extensively
reviewed and refined by the Preferred Proponent and OCC with involvement from the City and others as required.
The goals of the Niagara Falls Casino/Gateway Project are to:
- David Nash, member, Board of Directors, Ontario
Casino Corporation and
partner of London law firm McKenzie Nash Bryant (Chair);
- Joanne DeLaurentiis, member Board of Directors, Ontario Casino
Corporation and President, Mondex Canada
- Jean Lam, Assistant Deputy Minister, Business Development and
Tourism Division, MEDTT;
- Bernard R. Wilson, Sr. Vice-President, Price Waterhouse;
- Brian Wood, A/President and Chair, Ontario Casino Corporation and
Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Resources and Agency Relations,
A Review Panel also provided independent and objective advice to the
Selection Committee and helped ensure
the evaluation process was thorough, fair and objective. The Review Panel comprised the Deputy Ministers of:
The Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism; the Ministry of Finance; the Ministry of Consumer
and Commercial Relations; and the Management Board Secretariat.
GENERATED BY THE INTERIM NIAGARA FALLS CASINO
Direct jobs = More than 3,500 jobs
Direct and indirect jobs created
= More than 6,000 jobs
in the Niagara Region
Total direct and indirect jobs
= More than 9,000 jobs
created in Ontario
Estimated value of new economic
= Approximately $1.3 billion
activity in Ontario generated
by the interim casino and
additional tourists annually
Number of same day cross border
= 3.09 million (1996, pre-casino)
car trips entering at Niagara = 3.81 million in 1997
Falls, Canada (23.3% increase)
Rise in average monthly hotel
= Increased 20-48% per quarter
revenue in Niagara Falls since during 1997 compared to 1996
interim casino opened
Number of housing starts in
= 194 units (1995, pre-casino)
Niagara Falls = 341 units in 1997