CBS 13's April Hettinger looks into our popular winter destination spot
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - This winter, there is sure to be a lot more people out on the roads and occupying businesses if the U.S. opens its border to Mexicans and Canadians.
Wednesday, the U.S. extended border restrictions to August 21.
Yuma County is a popular destination spot for Canadians being the sunniest city in the country.
Linda Morgan, executive director of Visit Yuma says about 86% of Canadians that travel to the U.S. come to Arizona. Yuma County has an advantage because of the many beaches along the Colorado River and the proximity to the Imperial Sand Dunes and Mexico, another common travel location.
Christa Parker, resort manager at WestWinds, is looking forward to welcoming guests to our area, given that many stay here for up to two or three months.
"We just need to be prepared for not only the Canadians that we missed out on last year but a lot more people are traveling within the states," Parker explained. "So, I think it's going to be even fuller with more people that have possibly never been to Yuma before."
With threats of the delta variant, things could easily change in the next few months and the border restriction might be extended beyond August 21.
"Some people are afraid that maybe their plans will be interfered with but I think a lot more people are hopeful this year," Parker stated.
She says they aren't entirely booked just yet but January and February have limited availability.
Not only do visitors stay for many months in RV parks or hotels, they also vamp up small businesses by eating at local restaurants or shopping at local stores.
But the RV park hasn't seen any cancellations so far. Locals hope Yuma doesn't go another winter without tourism.
"The more visitors we get here to spend their money and then leave, the better for our businesses," Morgan said. "It's good for our businesses to create jobs, create tax revenue and it just makes it a nice place for us who live here."