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Maid of the Mist, Hornblower won't begin boat rides until ice clears from river

The Maid of the Mist and Hornblower Niagara Cruises, the U.S. and Canadian boat ride companies operating below Niagara Falls, are waiting for the ice boom to be removed and ice to clear from the Niagara River before opening this year.

In 2017, the companies opened on April 1, the earliest date ever. Last year, opening day was April 27, which Maid spokesman Kevin Keenan said was more typical. Both companies said their facilities were not damaged by this winter's ice or windstorms.

"Based on the projected forecast over the next few weeks, we hope to be open the towards the end of April or first part of May," said Greg Bechkos, Hornblower's sales and marketing director.

This will be Hornblower's sixth year in business and the Maid's 134th.

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