NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - With Thanksgiving week upon us, shoppers are getting ready for Black Friday. But our neighbors to the north are also taking advantage of holiday deals.
Hotels in western New York are filling up in anticipation. Industry insiders say the hospitality industry has been steady since the tourism season ended.
"Absolutely, yeah we have seen it but it's pretty steady all throughout. They have been coming mostly on weekends obviously. All throughout we have been seeing a pretty steady influx. We are definitely up on last year in terms of rooms. In preparation for Black Friday people are coming in early and staying," said Frank Strangio, general manager of Quality Inn.
Galeb Ribek, manager at EconoLodge, said that the occupancy rate from the tourism season into the holiday season has pretty much stayed the same. The difference is it was 25 percent Canadians during the tourism season and now it's 75 percent to 90 percent Canadians.
Beginning in June, shoppers were allowed up to $800 worth of goods if they visited for more than 48 hours. With the strength of a Canadian dollar and our lower prices, it's a good deal for Canadians even with having to pay for a hotel room.
"It's also a little bit of a trip as well. It's a vacation/business trip where you get to buy goods. You get to go away for a few days, have dinner. It's a little bit of a getaway and you get some shopping done and save some money," said Strangio.
The shoppers have already started. Around Niagara Falls, the lots are filling with Canadians hoping to get a jump start on the deals.
"We have done Black Friday before and we don't like the crowds. So we thought we will do it again but we will do it before the crowds get here and hopefully the bargains are just as good," said Joyce Dorman and June Peckham, who came in from Toronto.
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