NIAGARA FALLS - Niagara Falls State Park, visited by more than 8 million visitors a year, is seeking a private business partner.
New York State is soliciting bids for a business partner to operate the Niagara Adventure Theater in the Orin Lehman Visitor Center at the park and to also provide marketing for the Niagara USA Discovery Pass to out-of-town market tours and groups.
The Niagara Adventure Theater is currently being operated by private partner Destination Cinema. The theater shows a movie based on the legends and myths of Niagara Falls.
Private partnerships are not a new thing at the park, which is the nation's oldest state park. One of the most popular Niagara Falls attractions, the Maid of the Mist, is a private partner and Delaware North, which provides concessions in the park, is also a private partner, according to New York State Parks spokesperson Angela Berti.
But new ideas are sought for operating the Niagara Adventure Theater, according to an announcement by the state parks office. The state's request for proposals noted that there is no mandate that the space continues to operate as a traditional theater.
"It doesn't need to be a movie. There's certainly a lot more technology than when we put this out the first time," said Berti
The contract winner will be required to pay the state a minimum of 2 percent of the gross receipts of theater ticket sales.
The partnership would also include marketing the Niagara USA Discovery Pass with private business dollars, rather than state money. The Discovery Pass is a state parks product which provides a discount ticket book to parks attractions.
The state is hoping to award a three-year contract that would begin in January, with a two-year renewal option.
Story topics: Niagara Weekend