Mayor of Niagara Falls caught off guard with news Marineland is looking to sell

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The Mayor of Niagara Falls is anxiously awaiting for more details on the potential sale of Marineland.

Jim Diodati tells CKTB today's news caught him off guard, however the topic of selling the park has been ongoing since former owner, John Holer died in 2018.

He says the theme park land is massive at 800 acres, and currently zoned as 'open space' allowing for attractions and rides.

Marineland has registered to lobby the Ontario government with the goal of selling the park by looking at potential zoning changes to allow for development.

The park is also looking for potential financial support and tax relief for development of its operations.

Diodati says he wants to see a positive sale of the land and redevelopment, saying there are a lot of partners out there, such as Canada's Wonderland.

The Mayor says there has always been speculation that Canada's Wonderland would relocate or open a second location in Niagara Falls, ON by taking over the park.

Diodati says he would be waiting with open arms at the gate of the city if that's the case.

In September, Marineland agreed to relocate its walruses after a long dispute with a local activist. The park also settled its legal dispute with Phil Demers.

There has been speculation for years the park would sell given frequent legal disputes, allegations of animal abuse, and weekly protests.