The Flagship Niagara was supposed to be back in the water this summer after not setting sail in 2020 because of the pandemic.
But now, the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission says they never agreed upon that plan.
This is pretty devastating news for the Niagara League and for tourism.
We spoke to press secretary Howard Pollman about this whole situation and why the Niagara isn’t setting sail.
“Prior to the March 23rd Flagship Niagara League (FNL) board meeting, PHMC’s Site Administrator, Jim Hall, and FNL Executive Director Billy Sabatini had agreed on an approach to FNL’s sailing operations this season. Because of the pandemic and the inherent challenges in operating the ship in accordance with CDC and DOH guidelines, they had agreed that the Niagara would not sail this summer. Instead, they agreed that in the fall a crew would sail the ship to be dry-docked (location to be determined). There it could be inspected and the first phase of two of Keystone-funded repairs to the Niagara would be made.
Though the FNL board voted to sail the Niagara at their March 23rd meeting, PHMC never agreed to that. PHMC endorses the plan originally agreed upon – to sail the Niagara to dry dock in the fall for inspection and repairs.”Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission
The decision is not only affecting the Erie Maritime Museum, but tourism in Erie as well.
“We were really hoping to hear that the Niagara would be sailing this season because it is such a huge part of Erie’s tourism product. It’s one of our top attractions, you can’t go to places like Pittsburgh or Cleveland or Buffalo and see the Niagara… she’s only here,” said Christine Temple, Director of Communications, VisitErie.
This is a developing story. Stay with Jet 24, Fox 66, YourErie.com for the latest.