Now, it's suing the Cuomo administration over what Hornblower calls a backroom deal to help Maid of the Mist maintain Niagara Falls sightseeing operations on the US side.
Hornblower is asking a Niagara County judge to throw out the contract reworked in December and put the rights up in public bidding.
Maid of the Mist was considered exempt from competitive bidding for more than a century because it was viewed as the sole provider of running tours.
In a statement, Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey says "Maid of the Mist is a New York icon with three decades left on a 40 year contract with the state. Maid of the Mist will invest $32 million to build a New York-owned and situated facility and increase payments to the state threefold--to a projected $105 million over the remaining 30 years. By having its own docks, the State of New York is protecting our tourism industry in Niagara Falls and ensuring that this unique part of our heritage continues."
Maid of the Mist says in its statement, "We followed proper procedures at all times. We are confident the courts will determine that this lawsuit is without merit.".