Snow Birds Flock to California's Imperial Valley Park
Despite the recession, the new strength of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar encourages Canadian Snow Birds to flock to the California's Imperial Valley.
Now that the Canadian dollar can go further in the U.S., winter visitors from Canada are tempted to stay longer and to spend more, according to the Imperial Valley Press, El Centro, Calif.
Les Smith, general manager for Desert Trails RV Park in El Centro, said the exchange rate between the United States and Canadian dollars has encouraged Canadian Snow Birds to stay in the Valley.
“I think we’re doing very well,” Smith said. “The Canadian dollar is now on par with the U.S. dollar. I think it’s made Canadians more comfortable to come and stay longer.”
Carol and Jim Bremner, of Langley, British Columbia, stay at Desert Trails RV Park. Carol said they have increased their spending in the Valley because of the strength of the Canadian dollar.
“We do spend more money because the (Canadian) dollar is doing better,” she said.
Carol said they spend at the mall, Lucky Supermarket, Costco and other local businesses.
“We try hard to support the local merchants and restaurants,” Jim said.
Smith said business at Desert Trails is doing well.
“We’re very happy with how our season’s going right now,” he said.
Bill DuBois, president of the El Centro Chamber of Commerce, said Snow Birds help bolster the local economy.
“Snow Birds are a positive impact on our local economy,” he said.
During the Welcome Back Snow Birds Pancake Breakfast on Saturday (Jan. 9), several vendors set up booths to advertise their products and services to Snow Birds. DuBois said it helps local businesses benefit from a sizable demographic.
“It gives businesses a chance to advertise directly to the target market,” he said.
DuBois said the dollars Snow Birds inject into the economy is a significant advantage to El Centro.
“They spend money at our restaurants, at our tire and vehicle repair shops, they utilize our local health care — it’s a tremendous boost to the economy to have them here,” he said.