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Cheaper in the U.S.

Re. Will snowbirds go south? (Castanet, Sept. 28)

I predict any snow bird who planned to go south into the U.S. will still go, undeterred by the exchange rate and inflation.

It is still cheaper to reside in many parts of the U.S. south than remain in Canada, and the weather is definitely a plus factor.

At this time, I am in Denver, Colorado. The gasoline price a few blocks from where I am is at US$3.37 per U.S. gallon.

I found a conversion formula that converts US$/gallon to Can$/litre. Divide the U.S. price by 3.78642. That will adjust slightly depending on variances in the exchange rate. So converting US$3.37 comes to Can$0.8901215 per litre, or adjusted for the exchange rate, Can$1.22 per litre.

What are we paying in Kelowna?

Booze is also cheap (in Denver). For example, a three-litre box of Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon V20 is priced at US$21.99 here in Denver. In Kelowna, the exact same box at a B.C. Liquor store is Can$36.49 plus tax.

Today’s (Wednesday’s) exchange rate is US$1 = Can $1.36864. So US$21.99 in Canadian dollars is $30.09. In other words, the exact same box of wine in Canada, not on sale, is 28% higher.

Most food in grocery stores is also much cheaper. Dining out is subjective. It depends on the type of food and the location.

The article mentions “the low performing Canadian dollar will impact those who typically fly south for the winter the most of all travellers”.

Wrong. Every single snowbird I know drives south for the winter, the do not fly. Some take their fifth-wheel, others just compare the cost of flying versus driving, the hassle of flying and the potential their bags will not be seen again and the decision is easy.

Robert Hepting, Kelowna

(Editor's note: Gasoline at most Kelowna gas stations was selling for $1.99 per litre on Thursday.)



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