The flagship Niagara should be back in the water this summer after failing to set sail in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Now the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission said this won’t happen.
Here you can find out more about why the historic ship is being re-docked.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an Erie attraction will remain docked for the second summer in a row.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission notified the flagship Niagara League of its decision to dock the ship last Tuesday.
However, during a board meeting of the flagship Niagara League on March 23, board member Nick Scott stated that she and the PHMC on-site administrator Jim Hall had agreed that the Niagara would sail this summer.
This turned out to be a misunderstanding between organizations.
“Although we all prepared Niagara for 2021, that was, hypothetically, the goal. How did we want to do that? We didn’t necessarily have the opportunity to sit down at the table and have this conversation, ”said Nick Scott, chairman of the board of the flagship Niagara League.
The Commission’s Director of Foreign Affairs, Howard Polland, responded with a statement:
Due to the pandemic and the challenges it posed in operating the ship under CDC and DOH guidelines, they had agreed that the Niagara would not sail this summer. Instead, they agreed that a crew would sail the ship for dry docking in the fall.
Now it’s a matter of performing maintenance on the Niagara to get the ship into the water as quickly as possible.
“So we can all update our certificates so we can sail, and if we get it pretty quickly, we can actually see that you will be out on the lake in the fall,” said Scott.
Although the decision was not what Scott expected, he still understands why the Commission reached this conclusion.
“Yes, it was a surprise that we are not. Didn’t take the cover off, but that said in fairness to the process. From their point of view, there won’t be a playbook for a week, ”said Scott.
Docking the Niagara is affecting tourism for the city of Erie.
“It’s such a big part of our tourism product. One of our top attractions. You can’t go to places like Pittsburgh, Cleveland or Buffalo and see the Niagara that’s only there, ”said Christine Temple, communications director for Visit Erie.