Snowbirds descend with a flurry of cash - FOX 13 News

Snowbirds descend with a flurry of cash

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LAKELAND (FOX 13) -

Snowbirds have landed in Tampa Bay, and the ones from Canada are probably going to stay longer and spend more this year.

You can thank the Canadian dollar. It bottomed out a few years ago. Now it has rebounded more than 40 percent and is now worth a little more than the U.S. dollar.

"We're very happy because we remember the days when it was forty-five and fifty cents below the American dollar, and we had to suck it up," said Ralph Ross, who is from Montreal.

He and others were taking part in the Snowbird Extravaganza. Along with having more money to spend on fun stuff, experts say many Canadians are looking at investing in real estate here in Florida.

"You're getting places at half the price they were five to six years ago, and for Canadians, that's very attractive," said Michael MacKenzie, the executive director of the Canadian Snowbird Association.

Canadians may be leaving even more money here in the future. Congress is considering a bill that would increase the time they are allowed to stay in the U.S. from six to eight months.

The Snowbird Extravaganza is expected to attract more than 35,000 people this year. It runs through Friday at the Lakeland Center. Admission is free.

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