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Many British Columbians headed south for Family Day

BELLINGHAM (NEWS1130) – BC’s first ever Family Day gave the economy a big boost. Washington State’s economy, that is.

People from all over the Lower Mainland waited in border line-ups for up to 2.5 hours last night.

“Looking anecdotally at car counts at the mall and at Costco, it certainly would appear we had more people traveling south this weekend for retail, and also for recreation,” says Bellingham Chamber of Commerce President Ken Oplinger.

“I think part of the reason you saw a large number of people coming back [to Canada last night] is you had a lot of people who came down here to spend a three-day weekend,” he adds.0

The province put out a media release over the weekend, asking people to use the new holiday to “Stay, play and discover” BC.

As for Oplinger, he’s grateful so many people from the Lower Mainland used the opportunity to play and discover in his community.

“We didn’t get the day off; we were all working. But we certainly appreciate the fact that so many of our Canadian friends came here,” he tells us. “It’s normally a pretty slow time of year for us, so it was important that retailers knew they would see larger numbers of people coming through so they could prepare for it.”

He notes some stores even brought in extra staff to handle the extra Canadian shoppers.