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Low Canadian dollar hitting North Dakota hotels, not retailers

Low Canadian dollar hitting North Dakota hotels, not retailers
WATCH: Global's Sean Leslie was in North Dakota to see the effect a low Canadian dollar was having on south of the border.

WINNIPEG — The low Canadian dollar isn’t stopping Manitobans from going south to shop, but it is preventing them from spending the night.

With the Canadian dollar worth about 70 cents U.S., less visitors are choosing to stay at hotels in places like Grand Forks and Fargo.

“Even though the dollar is down, a lot of the retailers in North Dakota haven’t seen a corresponding drop in sales,” economist Rob Warren said.

“What North Dakota has noticed is the number of people staying overnight is down.”

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Warren believes the number of Manitobans going to Grand Forks to hunt for deals on Black Friday won’t change, but they’re more likely to forego a hotel stay, choosing instead to pay the duty on their purchases.

RELATED: Low loonie forces Canadians to choose homegrown travel destinations

The convenience of online shopping is also a factor in shoppers choosing not to spend money on a hotel room and avoid Black Friday lineups.

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Despite the weak Canadian dollar, Manitobans are still heading to North Dakota to shop.
Despite the weak Canadian dollar, Manitobans are still heading to North Dakota to shop.
Shoppers continue to spend money on Black Friday sales, but not hotel rooms.
Shoppers continue to spend money on Black Friday sales, but not hotel rooms.

“We’re getting a lot of orders that people are placing online and they come to pick up at the store at their convenience,” Mike Casey with Target in Grand Forks said.

Casey said sales from Manitoba visitors have already been strong this year, “We’ve seen a lot of Canadian guest traffic already asking for our Christmas decor. We got a lot of sales from our Halloween decor as well.”

RELATED: It’s official: Canadian shoppers are now identical to U.S. ones

But hotels in Grand Forks are feeling the pinch.

“The traffic has definitely been down significantly and we’ve seen reports from the city of how drastic that change has been so it’s definitely impacted all of the local hotels,” Clare Albrecht, director of sales at Expressway Suites said.

Hotels have been offering at-par deals for Canadians and also advertising locally to entice customers.