NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - Mayor Paul Dyster said Thursday he received a phone call from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who informed him he'd reached out to developer Mark Hamister in light of the growing concern he would withdraw his $25 million downtown hotel project.
Hours earlier, at an 11 a.m. session with the media, Cuomo told 2 On Your Side's Pete Gallivan that he had not had yet intervened or spoken to Hamister.
"I don't know any more information than what I saw on TV, actually," Cuomo said at the time.
However, he apparently had a change of heart in the afternoon, calling both Dyster and Hamister. He had planned a 2 p.m. press conference to announce his withdrawal, according to a source, but The Hamister Group issued a media release early Thursday announcing the cancellation of that event.
Cuomo has strayed away from the Hamister controversy publicly, but Dyster believes his support is critical to moving the project forward.
"The Governor told me this is very important to his economic strategy, not only in Niagara Falls but also in Western New York," Dyster said. "that a lot of time and effort has been put into this, and he wants this to get done."
Republican State Senator George Maziarz also said he spoke to Hamister on Wednesday, urging him to keep his faith in Niagara Falls.
"I think he's hearing from a lot of people," Maziarz said, "to hang in there a little bit longer."