A handful of destinations in Washington State are trying to attract more B.C. tourists by accepting the Canadian dollar at par with its U.S. counterpart.
The low loonie has meant many families are staying home for spring break — which has led to fewer tourists south of the border.
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- Slumping dollar keeping British Columbians at home
Some hotels in the Seattle area are offering specialty packages like the Mayflower Park Hotel's "Love Thy Canadian Neighbor" deal, which doesn't include Canadian spelling, but does include free overnight parking for Canadian guests.
"It has been an honor to have Canadians as our regular guests," says the hotel's website. "That being said, right now the exchange rate is not in favor for our neighbors and coming to the states is more costly than usual."
Other deals include:
- Seattle Renaissance Hotel: overnight stays at par.
- Kimpton hotels (Alexis Hotel, Hotel Monaco, Hotel Vintage and Palladian Hotel): NW residents rate includes overnight parking and two cocktails at the hotel restaurant
- Seattle Fairmont Olympic Hotel: Savvy Shopper package includes a $50 American Express gift card per night and coupon book to Seattle Premium Outlet.
- Seattle Premium Outlet: VIP booklet with Canadian-only deals.
- Seattle Hotel Max: free overnight parking.
Entire town offering loonie at par
Meanwhile one little Washington community is going even further.
Located a few hours southeast of Vancouver, Winthrop, Wash. which is home to 400 residents, is eager to attract Canadian tourists.
"We have a fantastic following with the Canadians and certainly recognize the pain you all feel when the dollar goes one way or the other," said the town's marketing manager Kristen Smith.
To help ease that pain, Smith says the Western-themed town's businesses partnered with the nearby winter recreation area to offer the Canadian dollar at par.
"Everyone immediately said, 'It's a great idea, let's do it,'" Smith said.
The region is home to the largest cross-country ski area in the U.S.