Want to Find a Couple of Bucks?

Fall 2002 CSANews Issue 44  |  Posted date : Apr 09, 2007.Back to list

It is hunting season in some parts of Canada and the U.S. and this winter season as a Canadian Snowbird (whether you're a hunter or not) you will probably be hunting to find special discounts to save a couple of bucks. And I don't mean the four legged kind, I mean the dollar kind, and especially the USD. It's a quarry (I guess I can use this word) that's hard to find these days without busting your Canadian bank account.

I decided to do some hunting, or should I say scouting, and find out just where and how you might be able to save a couple of bucks. Here's what I found hiding in the thickets!

Let's start with Central Florida, where more than 50 Orlando and Kissimmee-St. Cloud hotels, attractions, including SeaWorld, restaurants and golf courses are offering "at Par" (dollar for dollar) deals specifically aimed at Canadians. The Orlando Magic, a NBA team, is also offering at par tickets allowing Canadians to catch a game with your own Toronto Raptors. In addition you can take advantage of their Fabulous Vacation Specials Brochure that offers plenty of discounts. To learn more or to order their special kit, call 1-800-646-2079 or visit their Web site at www.orlandokissimmee.com/Canada.

Florida's Lee Island Coast, including Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel/Captiva Islands and Cape Coral are also offering an "at par" program. It was primarily planned for Canadians visiting in the summer and fall but I was told that most of the participating businesses would probably honor the discounts through March 31. 2003. Log on to www.leeislandcoast.com and go the "hot deals" section or to request a Visitor's Guide call, 1-888-231-6933.

If you're looking for short or long-term upscale vacation property rentals in the Sarasota, Venice, Anna Maria Island, and Longboat or Siesta Key areas there's a company called Florida Vacation Accommodations that provides this service. They're a division of Resort Quest International; they provide one-stop vacation home and condo rentals in Florida and Canada. Go to, www.vacationinfl.com or call 941-383-9505.

The St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, one of the most popular Florida locations for Canadians (over 400,000 visited there last year), have been offering a special program called Canadian Family Fun, it's a part of their "We Love Canadians" special discount program. Although, the Family Fun Month is over a lot of the deals are expected to continue at hotels, restaurants, condos, and attractions. For updated listings and to confirm that the program is still available call their CVB in Clearwater at
1-877-352-3224, or you could visit their Web site at

The Daytona Beach area is offering Canadian travelers year-round discount vacation values with the latest edition of their "Canadian Sand Dollar Savings Booklet." It offers discounts at local restaurants, hotels, attractions such as the new Marine Science Center. It also offers coupons for green fees at five local golf courses. Information and Coupons can be obtained online via their "Just for Canadians" section of their web site at
www.daytonabeach.com or by calling, 1-800-854-1234.

In the Panhandle area of North Florida where a lot of Canadians winter, the Panama City Beach CVB will continue with its free winter resident "SunCard" which has been very successful for the past three years. The card offers special discount values at participating businesses that display "The winter resident SunCard is welcome here." In conjunction with the PCB Chamber of Commerce they sponsor two special "Winter Resident Appreciation Days" in February; it's two days of fun and includes freebies such as, snacks, drinks and a showcase of local goods and services to assist you with your stay. For more info call 1-800-272-3224 or 850-233-5070, in
Canada 1-800-553-1330.

Now to the great state of Texas, for the fifth consecutive year the Lone Star State is offering Canadians their "Buckaroo Bucks" discount booklet. This program is exclusively for Canadians traveling in the state from October 1, 2002 - March 31, 2003. The program offers discount coupons from various hotels, attractions, golf courses, shopping malls, car rentals and restaurants statewide. You can obtain a free copy of the book, along with a free Texas State Travel Guide by calling 1-800-8888-TEX or download the coupons by visiting www.traveltex.com. Texas always does it big-time!

In Arizona, where thousands of both western and eastern Canadians spend the winter the Arizona Office of Tourism and many participating restaurants, golf courses, etc., last year sponsored an appropriately named "Cactus Days" discount coupon program. At deadline, I still didn't have all the info regarding this season but I believe the program will be available. Information can be obtained by calling their Canadian representatives, Traveling Marketing Experts in Toronto at 416-861-1022 or toll free,
1-888-423-2995, in Arizona, 602-364-3700.

The California Division of Tourism sent me some
information that wasn't very helpful as far as discount opportunities for Canadians. They do, however, offer special ski discounts for Canadian travelers, information can be obtained by visiting their website at www.californiasnow.com. I'm confident that the individual CVB's, in areas popular with Canadians in the state will have special discount deals. Once again, deadline restrictions prohibited me from contacting them individually. For information, visit their Web site at, www.caltour@commerce.ca.gov or call California Tourism at 916-444-6798.

In summary, please remember that this information is subject to change and not all businesses in the respective areas participate in the discount programs. So don't be surprised if you encounter some problems with certain establishments, it's always wise to check first and make sure they are participating. You may be asked for your Canadian resident identification so carry it with you at all times. Also, when you arrive at your winter destination check with your local CVB or C of C for updates. I hope you find this information helpful - have fun this winter "hunting" for those elusive "bucks!"