Advantages of Real Estate Investing

Investing in real estate is as advantageous and as attractive as investing in the stock market. I would say it has three times more prospects of making money than any other business. But, But, But… since, it is equally guided by the market forces; you cannot undermine the constant risks involved in the real estate. Let me begin discussing with you the advantages of real estate investments. I found the advantages as most suited and really practical.

Advantages

Real Estate Investments are Less Risky

As compared to other investments, less of misadventure is involved in a real estate property. I will not get away from the fact that just like any investment you make; you have the risk of losing it. Real estate investments are traditionally considered a stable and rich gainer, provided if one takes it seriously and with full sagacity. The reasons for the real estate investments becoming less risky adventure primarily relate to various socio-economic factors, location, market behavior, the population density of an area; mortgage interest rate stability; good history of land appreciation, less of inflation and many more. As a rule of thumb, if you have a geographical area where there are plenty of resources available and low stable mortgage rates, you have good reason for investing in the real estate market of such a region. On the contrary, if you have the condo in a place, which is burgeoning under the high inflation, it is far-fetched to even think of investing in its real estate market.

No Need for Huge Starting Capital

A real estate property in Canada can be procured for an initial amount as low as $8,000 to $ 15,000, and the remaining amount can be taken on holding the property as security. This is what you call High Ratio Financing. If you don’t have the idea as to how it works, then let me explain you with the help of an example. Remember that saying… Examples are better than percepts!

Supposing, you buy a condo worth $200,000, then you have to just pay the initial capital amount say 10% of $200,000. The remaining amount (which is 90%) can be financed, against your condo. It means that in a High Ratio financing, the ratio between the debt (here in the example it is 90% Mortgage) and the equity (here in the example it is 10% down payment) is very high. It is also important to calculate high ratio mortgage insurance with the help of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). If needed, you can also purchase the condo on 100% mortgage price.

Honing Investment Skills

A real estate investment, especially when you buy a condo for yourself, will be a pleasurable learning experience. It gives you the opportunity to learn and when I went ahead with my first real estate property, I was totally a dump man. Ask me now, and I can tell you everything, from A to Z. Necessity is the mother of all inventions. I had the necessity to buy the property and so I tried with it, and I was successful. I acquired all the knowledge and skills through experience of selling and purchasing the residential property. Thanks to my job. It gave me the experience to become an investor.

Not a time taking Adventure

Real estate investment will not take out all your energies, until you are prepared and foresighted to take the adventure in full swing. You can save hell lot of time, if you are vigilant enough to know the techniques of making a judicious investment in the right time and when there are good market conditions prevailing at that point of time.

You should be prepared to time yourself. Take some time out, and do market research. Initiate small adventures that involve negotiating real estate deals, buying a property, managing it and then selling it off. Calculate the time invested in your real estate negotiation. If the time was less than the optimum time, you have done it right. And if you end up investing more time, then you need to work it out again, and make some real correction for consummating next deals. You have various ways and methodologies, called the Real Estate Strategies that can make it happen for you in the right manner.

Leverage is the Right Way

The concept of leverage in real estate is not a new one. It implies investing a part of your money and borrowing the rest from other sources, like banks, investment companies, finance companies, or other people’s money (OPM). There have been many instances where people have become rich by practically applying OPM Leverage Principal. As I had discussed under the sub head – No Need for Huge Starting Capital, the high ratio financing scheme gives an opportunity of no risk to the lenders, as the property becomes the security. Moreover, in case the lender is interested in selling the property, the net proceeds resulting from the sale of the property should comfortably cover the mortgage amount.

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Real Estate Leads For Realtors

Because real estate prices have dropped quite a bit, the potential commissions that real estate agents and brokers could earn have also dropped. But the drop in commissions can be more than offset by the amount of properties that can be sold. And getting quality real estate leads is one of the keys to making this a reality for real estate professionals. This is because there are so many more properties on the market now than there were before the bubble burst.

The rise in the number of homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages has increased so much that a very large number of them have decided that they cannot afford to stay in their homes. They would rather sell their home and buy a comparable home for a much lower price, and take the loss so that they can improve their cash flow situation by having a lower mortgage payment each month. And since there is no shortage of properties to buy, these people had no problem finding a suitable home for a good price.

And another result of the rise in available properties is that more and more people are becoming first-time homeowners. Since prices on homes are falling, more and more people are able to afford a home for the same amount they are currently paying in rent. So the logical choice for these people is to buy a house rather than continuing to rent.

These factors all lead to one thing – a higher need for real estate agents to help the buying and selling of all of these properties. Therefore, even though prices have fallen, the quantity of available properties, buyers, and sellers has raised which more than makes up for the lower prices in terms of how much a given real estate agent could make in the current real estate market. And as we all know, the more clients a real estate agent has, the more properties they’ll sell and the more money they’ll make.

The problem comes in when a real estate agent has already gone through their current client list. The best way for them to get more clients is to somehow obtain more real estate leads. Not only do they need more leads, they need high quality leads if they are going to be successful in converting a high number of them into clients who actually follow through on buying and/or selling one or more properties.

So how can you get more real estate leads? There are of course many different ways. These include buying them from an agency that offers them, advertising, subscribing to lead generation websites, developing and keeping current your own real estate website that draws potential

clients to it, and best of all by getting them through your own network. There are undoubtedly other ways of generating real estate leads as well, but these are the most common methods – all of which have proven to work to a certain degree.

One of the easiest ways to get real estate leads is by purchasing them. There are companies whose sole purpose is to find people who want to buy or sell a property. They then sell this information to people who are willing to pay for it. So if you are a real estate agent looking for real estate leads and either don’t have the time to find your own, or simply don’t want to, then this may be a good option for you.

There are two different major ways to do this. You can purchase the real estate leads from a company as a set of data that you will get in the form of a list or spreadsheet. Then you will need to start sifting through them and using the data available to qualify and categorize them yourself. And after that, it’s time to start making calls to find out they are valid leads or not.

The other way of purchasing real estate leads is by subscribing to a real estate lead generator website that will send you much smaller lists of leads on a regular basis. This can be nice because the information is likely to be much more current than buying a single very large list of leads. But this also means that there are fewer to work with so it doesn’t give you as much freedom in terms of choosing who to contact first.

Purchasing real estate leads or subscribing to a lead generation website can also be expensive. This can be a very bad thing since the whole intent of buying leads is to find clients, sell properties, and make commissions, if the leads that you buy don’t turn into commissions. In that case, not only did you not sell any properties (or many properties), but you wasted money on worthless information, and you wasted time contacting worthless leads when you could have been working on finding good real estate leads instead.

Another way to generate real estate leads is by advertising. If you are a real estate agent, broker, or business person, advertising your services may be a good way to generate real estate leads. This type of lead generation is great because rather than you doing the work to find people who want to buy or sell a property, the tables are turned and they come looking for you instead.

In addition to having people try to find you instead of you trying to find them, there is another benefit to advertising to generate real estate leads. The people who are trying to find you are already definitely interested in buying or selling a property. This means that you don’t have to worry about whether they are going to turn out to be qualified leads or not, because they definitely will be.

A similar way to generate real estate leads by advertising which can be even more effective than simply advertising on a billboard or in the paper is by setting up your own real estate website. Websites are surprisingly inexpensive to have hosted, and having one developed for you doesn’t have to be expensive either. And if you learn the basics of website development, you’ll be able to maintain it by yourself after it’s been set up so that you can always keep it current.

The reasons to keep your website current cannot be understated. First, you have to keep it updated with the properties you are trying to sell so that the people who visit your website will have something to look at – and since this list of properties will be changing frequently as your client list grows and changes, you’ll need to change your website often to incorporate the new properties and eliminate the ones that are no longer available.

A second reason for keeping your website updated on a regular basis your page rank will grow higher. Search engines use a number of factors to determine how relevant they are to certain keywords, and where to display them in a list of search results. And one of the biggest things that moves a website toward the top of the list is it’s page rank, which is greatly affected by how active and how current the website is. So the more often you update your website, the higher its page rank will be, the higher it’ll show up in search results related to real estate keywords, and the more visitors you’ll get to your site.

Once you get visitors to your site, you’ll be getting the exposure you want to potential clients for free. They can stay on your site for as long as they want to and look at as few or as many properties as they want to. And you don’t have to do anything in order to help them. In fact there could be thousands of people all on your website at the same time. That is something that you would not likely ever have the opportunity to do in person. This phenomenon is what is known as leverage, and leverage is what can turn a small business into a fortune 500 business in short order when managed correctly.

The best way to do real estate lead generation also happens to be one of the most difficult – at least in the beginning. The method of finding leads is by building a very large network, and using it. This is one of the best ways to get leads because it is one of the most surprisingly effective ways. But unfortunately, it’s also one of the more difficult ways to start, and takes a while to yield significant results.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to start building your network. And it’s not that you just need to start building it, you need to intentionally focus on building your network each end every day, no matter where you are or who you’re talking to. This is because for most people, networking does not come naturally.

If you are like most people, you are probably somewhat shy and don’t make it a point to intentionally meet and talk to new people on a regular basis. But if you want to build a network, you’ll have to do exactly that. This is something that can come as a challenge to say the least, both emotionally and technically, but it is well worth the effort in the long run.

It can be emotionally difficult because a large part of building a large network is dealing with rejection. And if you want to build a large network quickly, you’ll have to deal with a lot of rejection each and every day. Too many people, being rejected is taken personally and it ends up wearing them down so that they eventually give up before they gain the benefits that building a large network provides. But if you can learn how to not take rejection personally, you’ll succeed where so many others have given up and failed as a result.

And networking to generate real estate leads can be done almost anywhere. When you need to put some gas in your car, park on the other side of the pump from someone who’s already there and try to strike up a conversation where you’ll be able to tell them that you’re in the real estate business and can help them or anyone else they know who may be looking to buy or sell. And if you’re really serious about it, you may want to only get $10 or some other small amount of gas at a time so that you’ll need to go to the gas station more often and have more opportunities to network.

You can also build your network by meeting new people at any other place. You could talk to someone at the grocery store, library, church, waiting in line at the bank, or anywhere you are around other people for more than a few minutes at a time and starting a conversation wouldn’t be too awkward. It can be done anywhere, with just about anyone, at almost any time. And the more dedicated you are to it, the faster you’ll be able to grow your network and the better off you’ll be in the long run.

Some of the best ways to network are by talking to the people you already know. These are people who are already in your network, and you can use them to help you grow your network even larger. The most obvious way is to simply ask them if they are interested in buying or selling a property in the near future, and to keep you in mind if they are.

But another way to help you grow your network is to ask them who they know that may be interested in buying or selling a property. You are basically asking them for real estate leads using different words. You could ask them for the names and numbers of people who they know who may be interested in buying or selling a property, or you could ask them to give your contact information to the people they have in mind when you ask them that question.

It’s a great idea to have business cards with your contact information made up when you’re networking. That way you won’t have to rely on people’s memories which are definitely not the most reliable things when compared to something they can simply read from a card. Cards on the other hand make it so that the person you are giving your contact information to doesn’t have to rely on their memory, and it puts forth a more professional image as well which can only benefit you.

Real estate values have taken a dive and one of the results has led to there being many, many more properties on the market now compared to before the economy took a dive in 2008. This means that even though the prices are lower, the higher quantity of properties on the market make it possible to buy and sell more of them and make more money in commissions as a result which will more than make up for the decreased individual property values.

I order to sell more properties you must have more clients. And to get more clients, you need to have more real estate leads. These real estate leads can be generated in a variety of different ways, all of which can be useful to real estate professionals. Having reliable leads will definitely result in more clients, more sales, and more money made in commissions. Purchasing them, advertising for them, or getting them from your network is all great ways go get leads that all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Pick the one that will work best for you, and you’ll be on your way to making more money through real estate in less time that you think.

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Alternatives To Losing At Gambling

My brother-in-law has a system. He says it works on a regular basis, and it must do, because every time he comes to visit us, he goes into the local casino and comes out with some small amount of winnings. ‘Small’? Yes, that’s part of his system. “Most people are just too greedy,” he says. “They imagine they’ll win millions and end up losing everything they have.” If you’re not greedy, he says, you can count on winning small amounts regularly. That helps to pay the rent, it might even buy you a bottle of champagne, so isn’t that worth having? Well, no, not for most people. They buy Lottery tickets in order to win the million pound prize. If they got a letter saying they’d won three hundred thousand, they’d probably be disappointed. That’s part of the problem of gambling: it inspires a level of complete unreality. But that’s the point, isn’t it? The casinos in Las Vegas provide an adventure in a fantasy world. They’d don’t sell ‘reality’. If they did, people wouldn’t part with their money so easily. In fact, they’d win more often. Like my brother-in-law.

The second part of the system kicks in when he sits down. He plays Blackjack, starts slowly and relaxed, and looks round the table to see who else is in the game. He spots the losers, the high-rollers, the emotional types, and distances himself from all of them. Because that’s another way to lose. If you get influenced by the other players, you can’t watch your own game. Of course, in the real world, it happens all the time. Why else did thousands of people invest in ‘dot com’ companies in the ’90s? They were copying other people. Why else have so many people in Britain invested in housing and renting homes, even though the market has peaked and is now slipping down? They’ve listened to other people, they’ve followed what everyone else is doing. You want to win at gambling? Look at your own hand first and consider the odds you’re facing. Then compare yourself to everyone else later, after you’ve got some idea what your chances are.

The next consideration is luck. Successful gamblers know it’s all about luck, but they work with it, play along with it, coax it and cajole it. They never, ever work against it. My brother-in-law says that Blackjack is a game where the cards seem to go in runs. For a while they might be with you and then they’ll turn against you. At that point you need to back off and wait for the good run to come round again. It always does, he says. So he plays with his luck, not against it. He’s placing small bets and if the cards seem to be going his way, he’ll slowly increase his bets, planning on building up winnings. If the hands are going against him, he’ll slow down, minimise the bets and conserve his stake. Why would that work for him? Because most people do the opposite, he says. If they see they’re losing, they’ll panic and increase their bets enormously, trying to win back all the chips they’ve lost. That’s crazy, he says. If the run is not going your way, you need to calm down and minimise, not maximise bets. Above all, don’t panic and wait for your luck to turn, as it always does. If you bet high while the cards are running against you, then all you’ll do is lose bigger. That’s his philosophy and it seems to work.

That might be for two reasons. One is that ‘runs’ do exist. Try it. If you flip a coin and record the results you won’t get a list that says ‘head, tails, head, tails’. Sure, it’s random and there’s an even chance that it will come up heads or tails each time. But it won’t alternate. Instead, you’ll get a list that says ‘heads, heads, heads, tails, tails, heads’ and in that sequence you’ll see runs going one way or the other. In fact, this is a complex point, and fools a lot of people. When the first computer programmers tried to build a Random Number Generator a few years ago they were disappointed at their first results. They kept getting runs. To the untutored eye, it didn’t look ‘random’ enough! But it was. Randomness produces runs. You just have to be conservative enough to see it.

That’s the main point. My brother-in-law is cautious. It’s the way he plays and the way he wins. Because he’s aware of the dangers of following other players; because he’s only aiming to win limited amounts; because he knows the cards could turn against him and produce a losing streak; he’s always reserved and waiting. He never makes snap judgements and takes absurd risks. In the end, he walks out of the casino with money in his pocket not because he’s a great winner, but because most of the other players are big-time losers. They follow other players; they risk high bets; and they compound a losing streak by betting amounts they can’t afford. In the end, that’s why he wins. All he has to do is keep his cool and win some money, standing by while everyone else loses theirs. He watches the cards, places small bets and increases only when he’s feeling safe. But that’s okay. The system works and will continue to work. Because? We know that out of all the people reading this article, most have never set foot in a gambling house, so they’re not rivals. Of those who do, most don’t go regularly and have never thought about applying a system. Of those who have a system, most are still prone to emotional and panicky responses. That leaves, well, how many? Not many. At the end of the day my brother-in-law is a regular winner, but then, how many real competitors has he got?

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Presenting: Niagara Falls Tourism – One Wonder After Another

In early December of 2007 I decided to embark on a three day winter getaway to Niagara Falls, Ontario. In order to explore the city in the best possible way I contacted the experts at Niagara Falls tourism to help me work out a comprehensive itinerary to explore the many facets of Niagara Fall. Their travel specialists helped me put together a packed schedule that exposed me to many interesting sights and activities in this unique city.

My three-day adventure included a thrilling helicopter sightseeing tour, an encounter with nature at the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory and at Bird Kingdom, the world’s largest aviary. I sampled culture and entertainment in a magic show at the Greg Frewin Theatre and a musical production at the Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Theatre.

I also got up close to the majestic Niagara Falls, viewed them from the Skylon Tower and saw an Imax movie called “Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic” which presented an interesting dramatization of Niagara Falls’ colourful history. I also checked out some of the actual vessels used by real-life daredevils who went over the Falls and explored the tunnels that take you behind the big cascade of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls in the Journey Behind The Falls experience.

Naturally I sampled some of Niagara Falls hospitality offerings: from my convienent accommodation at the Best Western Cairn Croft to the cozy luxury of the Kilpatrick Manor Bed and Breakfast to a variety of culinary experiences, I got a good idea of Niagara Falls’ broad tourist offering. And of course I explored Clifton Hill – Niagara Fall’s most popular tourist promenade with its gift shops, wax museums, haunted houses, restaurants, hotels and themed attractions.

I even partook of the gambling experience at the Fallsview Casino Resort, a giant top-modern mind-boggling gaming, shopping and entertainment complex. There were so many more things on the list that I could have done, but three days were simply not enough to sample it all.

To help you with your own plans for a visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario, here is an interview with Anna Pierce, the Executive Director of Niagara Falls Tourism who has graciously agreed to provide a general overview of Niagara Falls and everything it has to offer:

1. Please provide us with some general information about Niagara Falls, Ontario. Where is it located and how can I get there? How big is the population of Niagara Falls, Ontario? How do I get around the city?

Niagara Falls is located between Lakes Erie and Ontario sharing a border with New York State. To get to Niagara Falls from the United States, visitors can travel by car over one of three bridges: The Rainbow, Peace or Queenston-Lewiston Bridges. Three international airports service the area: Buffalo in the US, Hamilton and Toronto. Buffalo and Hamilton airports are approximately 40 minutes drive and Toronto is just over one hour away. Via Rail/Amtrak also provide service directly into Niagara Falls.

2. Niagara Falls has a very interesting history. Please give us a brief historical overview of this unique city.

Niagara Falls was first brought to the attention of the European explorers when Father Hennepin was shown the wonder by Native Americans. It was named the Honeymoon Capital of the World after Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother spent his honeymoon here.

Annie Edson Taylor was the first person to go over the Falls in a barrel. She was hoping this feat would make her rich and famous. She died penniless. Since then, several attempts have been made to conquer the Falls. Unfortunately, more have failed than succeeded they never lived to tell the tale. Attempting any such daredevil exhibitions now is illegal and comes with an extremely hefty fine.

Several battles of the War of 1812 (the only war the American Army ever lost) were fought here. Laura Secord, a settler’s wife, played a prominent role in that war before the chocolate company made her famous. She overheard US troops planning an ambush against the British and walked over 20 miles in enemy territory to inform British Troops of the impending attacks. Although she received little recognition for her heroism during her lifetime, today Laura Secord is considered to be a Canadian folk hero.

3. Please tell us about one of the most significant attractions in Niagara Falls – the majestic waterfalls themselves. What makes them special and how can I experience them?

Our Falls are special in so many ways, but the most important is the sheer volume of water that flows over the brink. 600,000 gallons per second, in fact. The Falls is NOT the tallest in the world. It only measures 170 feet deep and 2200 feet wide. The best way to experience the Falls is to make sure you view it from ABOVE, BELOW AND BESIDE. Aerial views via tower or helicopter show how it all works. The Maid of the Mist provides the absolute best vantage point below the brink and the Journey Behind the Falls or Table Rock Point give you the best possible view from beside the Wonder. You have to experience all three to truly understand just how spectacular the Falls are.

4. What type of sightseeing opportunities do I have in Niagara Falls?

Niagara Falls offers a wide variety of Sightseeing Opportunities that centre around the Falls as well as many other wonders. We offer Winery Tours featuring Niagara’s World renown ice Wines, biking and hiking along the Niagara Escarpment, wildlife viewing at Marineland, ZOOZ, the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory, the Bird Kingdom, gaming at one of two Vegas-style Casinos. You name it, we have it.

5. Niagara Falls also has a number of attractions that appeal to nature lovers, featuring birds, butterflies and elaborately designed parks and gardens. Please provide us with further information about these attractions.

I would suggest checking out the following websites for more information on these great attractions:

www.niagaraparks.com
www.niagarafallsaviary.com

Most of the gardens in the Niagara Parks system can be accessed free of charge. For example, their School of Horticulture, the Greenhouse Collection, Queen Victoria Park, and many others.

6. What kind of museums and locations of historic interest does Niagara Falls, Ontario, have to offer?

We have several museums in and around Niagara Falls. The Clifton Hill area is filled with many novelty museums including Louis Tussaud’s, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Guinness World Records Museum and a few haunted houses sprinkled in. The Lundy’s Lane Historical Museum houses memorabilia from the War of 1812. One of the battlefields of that war is also located on Lundy’s Lane and is said to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in Canada. The Laura Secord Homestead is also open to the public as are two forts one in Niagara-on-the-Lake and one in Fort Erie. Both were strategic outposts for British troops fighting the attempted invasion from the US.

7. Niagara Falls, Ontario, offers many opportunities to travellers who like the casino and gaming experience. Please tell us more.

Niagara Falls is home to two Casinos: Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino Resort. The Fallsview Casino is a showpiece in and of itself. It houses over 3000 slot machines and 150 game tables, world-class big-name entertainment in the Avalon Ballroom, and great shopping in the Galleria Mall.

8. What other entertainment options and attractions does Niagara Falls, Ontario, have to offer? What are some of the main entertainment areas? What about theme parks?

Clifton Hill offers great family entertainment: museums, arcades, rides including the newest arrival: the SkyWheel (a ferris wheel which is a smaller version of the EYE in London with air conditioned and heated pods providing great views of the Falls).

Many of our hoteliers are opting to add or build indoor waterparks to add to their existing offerings. We have the Great Wolf Lodge Resort, Waves at the Americana Resort and the Sheraton on the Falls Fallsview Waterpark. All three provide visitors with indoor thrills for year-round fun. They each have several waterslides, a wave pool and the mandatory Giant Bucket”. The Fallsview and Waves are both open to the public.

9. What options are there for nightlife in Niagara Falls, Ontario? What about theatre offerings, shows and special performances?

Nightlife is fantastic here in Niagara. In addition to the great outdoor and indoor pubs, clubs and karaoke bars, we have several great shows available. The Oh Canada, Eh? Dinner Theatre features great Canadian music paired with a fantastic dinner. Greg Frewin is a master magician whose show is sure to please the entire family. We also have several comedy shows and blockbuster performances at the Fallsview Casino.

10. Niagara Falls is embedded in one of Canada’s most popular wine regions and the entire area is often referred to as the “Breadbasket of Ontario”. Please tell us more about the areas surrounding Niagara Falls.

The Niagara Escarpment is located in the Niagara Fruitbelt. This area is some of the most fertile land in the country. We have a microclimate in the Niagara Region which is ideal for growing fruit. The temperatures in the Fruitbelt are generally 10 degrees less than the surrounding area. Frost is always a consideration. This is why you will see windmills in the middle of fields throughout the region. The windmills are used to break up the frost which is so dangerous to the fruit especially grapes.

11. What types of festivals and special events highlight the yearly calendar in Niagara Falls, Ontario?

In September we celebrate the grape harvest with the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. In winter, our Niagara Parks are illuminated with over 2 million twinkling lights. The Winter Festival of Lights is filled with animated lighting displays featuring Disney Characters. The celebration culminates with a free New Year’s Eve Party in Queen Victoria Park.

12. What type of accommodation options are available in Niagara Falls?

Niagara Falls offers accommodation from 2 to 4 star hotels to bed and breakfasts from cottage rentals to campgrounds from budget to luxury.

13. Please describe the culinary options available in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Our signature culinary experience is, of course, Fallsview Dining. The Skylon Tower offers the best view from their Revolving Dining Room, but the Keg Steakhouse, a Cut Above and the Watermark Restaurant all boast excellent food with a view. Dining at the brink of the Falls is also available at the Table Rock House. In Niagara-on-the-Lake the vineyard cafes and restaurants are some of the best in Southern Ontario. The chefs in these restaurants pride themselves in offering recipes featuring meats and produce grown in the Niagara Region.

14. Please tell us about the shopping opportunities in Niagara Falls.

Canada One Factory Outlet, the Fallsview Galleria, the Penn Centre and Niagara Square Malls are all within 15 minutes of the Falls. Niagara-on-the-Lake has many quaint one-of-a-kind shops to choose from as well.

15. What outdoor, recreational and sports opportunities are available in and around Niagara Falls? How about golfing?

Niagara Falls has many hiking, biking and roller-blading trails. Water-based sports such as boating, sailing and fishing are also huge draws for us. Niagara Region is also gaining renown as Canada’s Golf Capital. We have over 48 Golf Courses both public and private. Several are PGA quality and have been designed by leading course architects. John Daly and Greg Norman have both designed courses in the region.

16. What are some of the big news stories that will be coming up for Niagara Falls in 2008 and beyond?

The biggest news for Niagara Falls is the announcement of a new Convention Centre for Niagara Falls. The details are being finalized as we speak, but they should be breaking ground fairly soon. We are expecting the opening to happen some time in 2010. In short, it’s an exciting time to be part of Niagara Falls’ Tourism Industry.

Thank you, Anna, for your taking the time to provide us with this comprehensive information about Niagara Falls. You have given me some great ideas for a summer getaway and I look forward to visiting Niagara Falls again.

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Atlantic City- The Crown Jewel Of The Jersey Shore

Atlantic City is better than ever!

This fun filled destination, famous for gambling and ritzy casinos, offers great entertainment, good restaurants, shopping, relaxing on the beach, and more.

While casino gambling remains its major attraction, the city is intent on becoming a destination that offers fun and excitement for the entire family.

With over 37 million visitors a year, this New Jersey beachfront resort now rivals other major tourist destinations like Las Vegas and Disney world.

It certainly lives up to its motto Always Turned On!

Atlantic City has a long and fascinating history.

Dr. Jonathon Pitney originally developed the city as a seaside health resort for the wealthy residents of Philadelphia. Development as a major resort for the not so wealthy took off significantly after 1854 when Philadelphia investors created a rail line linking Atlantic City with Camden, just across the river from Philadelphia.

It is the real-life model for the board game Monopoly, the nation’s first Boardwalk, the world’s first big Ferris wheel, the first color postcards, and the home of the first Miss America Beauty Pageant.

During prohibition and the depression, Atlantic City was a center for bootlegging, smuggling, speakeasies and illegal gambling. The mafia found Atlantic City to be a good place for profitable business operations and vacationing. The nearby Pine Barrens were convenient and well suited for the mafia’s activities. Because of its seclusion and forest cover, and close proximity to Atlantic City (as well as New York and Philadelphia where many mafia resided), the Pine Barrens proved to be ideal for distilling, bootlegging, and body disposal.

It was in Atlantic City where the Mafia established itself as a national organization. Fearing the end of prohibition and the loss of profitable bootlegging operations, Mafia leaders from the Midwest and East Coast, — Al Capone Frank Costello, Meyer Lansky, and Lucky Luciano — held their first national conference in 1929 at the President Hotel. It was here that they were able to develop a system of arbitration and solidify networks made through bootlegging to become a national organization.

With airline travel flourishing and the Caribbean and Florida becoming a magnet for east coast tourists, Atlantic City experienced a decline during the fifties, sixties, and seventies.

This phenomenon prompted visionary city officials to seek an alternative draw as they campaigned to get the state to open the city to gambling in the hopes of revitalizing the city and restoring it to its former glory days.

With the passage of the Casino Gambling Referendum in 1976, and with the opening of the first casino at Resorts International in 1978, Atlantic City began its resurgence as a major destination for fun and entertainment.

Since then, the City has experienced continued development of hotels, casinos, nite clubs, entertainment, and other fun attractions offering more than casino gambling.

When is the best time to visit?

While there is year round activity, with the summer being the peak season, the more budget minded visitors might consider coming in the winter from January to April, when almost all hotel casinos offer outstanding deals and the facilities are less crowded.

What can families who do not gamble do?

Atlantic City provides lots of entertainment beyond the casinos. Stroll the famous Boardwalk, six miles long and 60 feet wide, paralleling the ocean, it is the largest of New Jerseys boardwalks. It is free! Hop on a historic rolling wicker chair and ride in style. The Boardwalk is the place to see and be seen. Forget the calories and indulge in a juicy hot dog with all the trimmings, chewy saltwater taffy and filmy cotton candy.

In the mood for some shopping? Try the Atlantic City Outlets – The Walk. Its an outlet mecca offering very good shopping from children’s clothing to home decor and jewelry, to quality clothing including Coach, Banana Republic, and Brooks Brothers. Enjoy the many restaurants and clubs located within this complex.

Try the Quarter at the Tropicana, where the streets of Havana come alive, with many unique shops and restaurants, from a burger with the kids to fine dining. ]

This city boasts the best concentration of first class restaurants in the state, as well as outstanding Philly cheese steak sandwiches, pizza, and family restaurants.

Enjoy a day at the beaches or on the water with a dolphin/whale-watching cruise, parasailing, or a fishing expedition. This destination also offers great ocean fishing and depending on the time of the year, you might catch Marlin, Shark or Tuna.

Check out the Atlantic City Aquarium located in the Historic Gardner’s Basin. It offers a fun and educational look into more than 100 varieties of fish and marine animals.

For golf enthusiasts, there are several championship golf courses nearby, including Blue Heron Pines East and West, The Links at Brigantine Beach, Harbor Pines, Mays Landing Golf and Country Club, Sand Barrens Golf Club, Shore Gate Golf Club and Twisted Dune Golf Club.

If you’d like to learn more about the city in its glory days, visit the Atlantic City Historical Museum and Cultural Center.

The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum offers many attractions including the world’s only wood-carved medieval castle, a roulette wheel made entirely of jellybeans, and a gallery dedicated to disasters and human survival stories.

The Absecon Lighthouse, built in 1857 at 171 feet, is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey. You can climb 228 steps for an unbeatable view of the casinos, boardwalk and shoreline.

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The Las Vegas: Sin City And The Casino Scene

The color of money is always greener in the City of Sin…Las Vegas. The legends of Las Vegas casinos have always made sure that this is a consistent truth. Las Vegas casinos reputation of luring tourist in the webs of game tables and the allure of the sound of slot machines. In the bright lights of the city, surely a Las Vegas casino will tower over the dust fields and the prairies of one of the Midwest’s most colorful and liveliest cities.

Las Vegas casinos made the city famous for making easy money. Tourist could never ever escape the comes-ons of Las Vegas’s casinos, it’s like the most fondling sound that they have ever heard in their entire lives and the promise of wealth and instant millions, that are sometimes posted on the billboards that welcome you while driving into the city, make them mesmerized to the point where they are no longer in control of their own purse.

The stories of defeat and anguish are so common in any Las Vegas casino; some of them have become urban legends and modern day mythologies that some of them are known by heart by the frequenters and the players. They have even lifted their stories to the level of being legends among craps table newbies. And their stories linger on to the very corner of every Las Vegas casino and strip clubs, the names and the amounts have immortalized themselves.

Las Vegas casinos are also known for their side attractions that take the players (gamblers)mind off the money that their actually losing. Everyday a player loses almost half of their annual incomes in just one game table and the least that the Las Vegas casinos’ owners are to have side shows that will entertain players keep their minds of the money they just burned. The common Las Vegas casino have playboy bunny girls, midgets doing magic and other attractions that players see to help them from remembering that they’ve just burned enough money to feed their family for half a year.

The typical Las Vegas casino, or almost all of them have memberships and to be part of their exclusive clubs, the interested party must have at least a certain amount of money they could burn at one time to qualify. Any self-respecting Las Vegas casino has will look closely at any membership. They of course don’t want anyone getting inside their club without passing club standards. Typically, a Las Vegas casino will investigate any prospecting applicant and make sure that this person is not just a bag of hot air.

In the deserts of the Midwestern frontier, Las Vegas will always stand out. Besides the scenery, the beautiful people and the constant desert weather. Las Vegas is always a good place to visit. Just remember to bring a lot of cash, tons of sun block and remember if you’re going to run around town getting drunk and spending your life’s savings to have the time of your life…leave the wife and kids at home and if they’re already with you, leave them at the hotel room. So if you’re already and good to go, drop by any of the famous Las Vegas casinos and have the time of your life.

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Brand New Atlantic City Hotels Likely To Spice Things Up

Atlantic City is full of entertainment and fun. Gambling hub and casinos in the city spend millions to create a better experience for the visitors. People visit here looks for more comfort and richness so many new hotels are growing to meet their need.

Courtyard by Marriott Atlantic City Hotel is one among the new hotels situated in the heart of Atlantic City. Stay in this hotel gives peace and an opportunity to enjoy its exciting adventure on the beautiful Atlantic coast. The hotel offers utmost comfort and qualities with easy access to all the areas of the casino, shops and the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk. This hotel provides 206 guest rooms and suites with conveniently spaced lighting and outlets. Luxury amenity of the rooms includes 100% smoke free room with luxury bedding and wake-up service, in room coffee/tea service, newspaper service, Flat TV with CD player, Speaker phones with voice mail, work desk w/lamp, iron/ ironing board, hair dryer, luxury tub and walk-in showers, and complimentary high speed internet. Indoor fitness center with weights and cardio-vascular equipments are available as well. This hotel is an ideal place to make your stay more lively and memorable.

Borgata opens Water Club, an 800 room non gambling hotel. This is the first non gambling and boutique ?? lifestyle hotel in Atlantic City. Here style and comfort merge seamlessly with a wide variety of luxury amenities like a two ?? story spa on the 32nd floor, 5 pool (3 indoor & 2 outdoor), three residence suite, world class dining, shopping area with six designer retail shops and many more to experience and enjoy. Perfect Hospitality and service by its friendly professional staff makes the stay cool through out.

The third new hotel is The Chelsea. In its 20 stories Chelsea offers 330 rooms and suite with 4,400 sq. foot indoor banquet space, cozy fireplace lounges, poolside cabanas, Shuttle and car service to local casinos and shopping, fitness center, two signature restaurants with dynamic settings and10,000 sq. feet of spa treatment complex. Chelsea exudes that rare sense of ease in a place that, at every turn, affords its guests the choice of pampered privacy, casual mingling and people watching, or an energized social scene. The 5th floor of Chelsea is noted for its 15,000 sq foot stone floored open Terrace pool with a terrace lounge embracing a cocktail culture. Other attractions of this floor includes Bar, game room, well spaced living room, and the Terrace Lounge which opens up completely to allow the space and its guests to spread out onto the outdoor patio bar and pool area.

The next new royal hotel in the Atlantic City is Caesars. Though it is located little away from the beach and board walk its customary Irish dishes, fresh sea food, delicious continental flavors, qua bath & Spa, 145,000 sq. foot of casino floor space and pier shops are luxury features makes the people to relax and enjoy as well.

Harrah??s resort is another classy resort opening with a famous sea-food house. Every single suite in this resort provides huge number of comfort services like 24 hours of maid service, coffee maker, refrigerator, ironing board, and pay ?? per ?? view movies, alarm clock / radio, hairdryer, in- room safe and high speed internet. Other attractions are 113,000 sq foot casino offering more than 3700 latest games, gorgeous pool complex, red door spa, golf court, cocktail lounges, and water front shops make the stay more pleasant.

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