New operator chosen for Niagara Falls tour boats

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NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario (AP) -- A new company has been chosen to operate the tour boats that chug to the base of Niagara Falls from the Canadian shore.

The Niagara Parks Commission in Ontario says Wednesday that Hornblower Canada Co. has been awarded the contract for the popular boats that for more than 100 years have been run by the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co.

The Maid of the Mist Corp. still holds the contract to launch tours from New York.

The parks commission says the new contract could generate more than $500 million in revenue over its 30-year span.

The commission had approved a 25-year contract with the Maid of the Mist in 2008. But the lack of competition for the deal drew criticism, so the commission called for bids.