$65 Hotel for Black Friday

Planning to do any Black Friday shopping in Minot, ND this year? Time to think and act if you want the best deals. If you are a Hyatt (loyalty club) member you can book at $65 per night for November 24th and 25th.

If you are a CAA member, there are offers for you as well, $70 per night.

I have personally stayed at this hotel in 2016 and have nothing but compliments for the hotel. A hot breakfast buffet is included in your stay, with omelettes made to order.

A mere 7 or so minutes from the Minot airport and on the north west side of the city, you are conveniently located to shopping and amenities as long as you have a car.

Book directly off their website for most flexibility. Important in our winter weather.  Hyatt House Minot



Pokemon Go: Good for tourism?

From New York’s Central Park to the little Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, North Dakota, the phenomenon that is Pokemon Go, is taking over.

Since its release, less than a week ago, the on-line gaming APP has become the best seller on iTunes, has rocketed Nintendo’s stock up in value by 25% and has everyone talking.

Where I noticed it, was on a Monday morning, in a small US city. We were visiting from Canada (where Pokemon Go is yet unreleased) and as tourists we were deliberately in the park to learn and explore. But we couldn’t help but to be distracted by the incredible number of young adults wandering around the park and all engrossed in their phones. They were stumbling about, even some bumping into each other. What was going on? Could the Scandinavian Heritage Park really be such a draw on a Monday morning?


Nope, it was the game! My teen son alertly recognized this and filled me in. To be certain, I bravely asked a group of guys if they were playing the Pokemon game and they enthusiastically explained it to me and showed me their phones. Apparently, there’s 134 characters to catch and battles that take place in “gyms.” You basically wander about chasing these on-line characters in a hybrid-reality. You can set “lures” to attract character and also other players.

25 foot tall Swedish Dala Horse. A character in the park, NOT the Pokeman game
25 foot tall Swedish Dala Horse. A character in the park, NOT the Pokemon game

But what does it all mean to tourism? Most of these meeting places in the game are public spots…tourist centres, churches, parks and the like. And when you are at a location, little info bubbles pop up on your screen, so as a player if you wanted to learn about where you were located, you certainly could. Of course, you could also actually look up from your phone and see the buildings and sites around you as well.

I chatted with a tourism host at the Scandinavian Heritage Park. She said it was ‘absolutely packed’ on Sunday with Pokemon Go players. She’d never seen so many people. Was that good for business though? Maybe. It was in fact putting this park on the radar of a younger audience. And it was certainly causing a buzz around town, getting the gamers out of their homes and into city streets and public places. But were there increased sales, revenue or even signatures in the guest book? No. Not yet anyways.

What do you think? Is this a new breed of gamer-tourism? Is this going to change the way people travel and interact or are we cluttering public places and creating new obstacles?  Is this the new selfie…being seen in a hybrid on-line/reality game?

The Gol Stave Church Museum over my shoulder. A Norwegian wood building, made without nails.

Link to a CBC News’ piece on the phenomenon.


Save $400 on Denver

Sun setting in beautiful colorado, at Coors Field.

If you’d like a weekend getaway and would like to see some baseball, may I suggest a trip to Denver?

It’s a city I love, and a trip I took last fall. This is a heck of a bargain and a heck of a good time. With the new Major League Baseball season starting shortly, I thought you might enjoy this bargain coming up for travel late April.

I compared flying from YWG (Winnipeg), or DVL (Devil’s Lake), to DEN (Denver) and I found that departing from Devil’s Lake on April 22nd, will save a couple over $400 on this specific trip.

Comparisons were done on Expedia.ca an both flights are with United Airlines, and paid in Canadian funds, staying at the exact hotel same. Here are the screenshot results.

Winnipeg to Denver on Expedia.ca
Winnipeg to Denver on Expedia.ca
Devil's Lake, North Dakota (where there is FREE airport parking)
Devil’s Lake, North Dakota (where there is FREE airport parking)

I have personally stayed at this Westin and loved it. The rooftop pool was a fabulous place to hang out and enjoy the sunshine. The Westin is about a 10  minute walk from Coors Field, home of the MLB Colorado Rockies.

Rooftop pool at the Westin, with the mountains and NFL Broncos in the background.
Rooftop pool at the Westin, with the mountains and home stadium of the NFL Broncos in the background.

On this particular weekend in April, the Rockies have 3 games against the LA Dodgers.

If you like this deal, do share.


Cheap Vegas Fix

Need your next Vegas fix?

If you like Allegiant Airlines, they have a deal for you! Flights as low as $56 one way, from Minot, ND. (Airport code MOT)

Here’s a sample departing Sunday, April 9th and returning April 13th. Flights for 2 people, without baggage, $254 (US funds).

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With hotel at the MGM, and flights included $736 (US funds).

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Or with the 5 star Venetian, just under $1000 (US funds).

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Travel Tip: Border Run

Are you feeling the pinch of our weak Canadian dollar?  You’re not alone. Thousands of Canadian snowbirds are cutting their trips short, or staying home. With an exchange rate near $1.45 per $1 US it has made travel to the United States far less attractive or affordable.

Don’t despair, you may still be able to afford a border run for your Cherry Coke and your Powerball ticket. The key is to do your homework. With a drop in Canadian tourists, many of our neighbouring American cities, like Grand Forks and Minot are sweetening the deals. When was the last time you were offered a room at a brand new hotel for $70?

The key is to do your homework and think frugally.

  1. Research before you go. Don’t assume you will find deals when you get there. Go to sites like EzMarketing.ca and print your hotel coupons first.
  2. Call and deal locally. The 1-800 numbers for booking hotels are not routinely updated with the local specials. Look for the franchise Facebook pages and check there for current deals.
  3. Look for hotels with added value, like free breakfast, manager’s reception or in-room kitchenettes. Many hotels will also offer area coupons (for restaurants and shopping) at their front desk.
  4. Time to order pizza. Grab a large pizza to share, rather than going out for a sit down meal for 4.
  5. Speak up. Ask for Canadian specials by e-mailing the tourism sites and getting on their mailing list.




In this situation, it is to your benefit to think and act locally. Southern states, like Texas and California are less likely to offer Canadian deals. However, if you have your heart set on a sunshine trip, the same tips will apply. Research and get connected to find the deals that fit your budget.

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