Waiting for Canadians in Buffalo


“My friends at business say Americans aren’t,” said Jim Diodati, mayor of Niagara Falls, Ontario, about his city, which welcomed 14 million visitors in 2019, including nearly 3.5 million free-spending Americans. “Crawls back at a snail’s pace.”

also Shaw theater festival In Niagara-on-the-Lake, where 40 percent of pre-pandemic viewers were American, mostly from Buffalo, only 12 to 15 percent of viewers in August and September were American.

“At this time of year, Shaw used to attract 10 percent American for our holiday shows, but we’re only seeing 2 percent right now,” festival spokesperson Ashley Belmer said.

The slow return of US visitors was noted elsewhere on a recent trip to the Niagara Peninsula. Matty Matheson’s Meat and Three Takeaway BBQ joint in Fort Erie, UFO Dinner in Niagara Falls to the butter tart epicenter Niagara Home Bakery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Still, on a Friday afternoon, the picturesque streets and shops of Niagara-on-the-Lake were filled with tourists strolling—just about all of them Canadian. To attract more Americans, some hotels offer discounted nightly rates; venerable prince of walesFor example, I recently found prices on Kayak that start at $221 CAD, or about $180 (about $100 off).

There was one exception, however, where the no-Americans were noted: Honeypot Smokeshopare among the most popular of stores selling marijuana in Niagara Falls since retailing marijuana products were allowed across Ontario in April 2020.

“About half of our customers come from the United States,” said store manager Don Finch. “Wisconsin, Tennessee, Texas, anywhere. We have to remind them that it’s illegal to move across the border to the US, but it’s fine as long as they stay here.”



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