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Cheaper Ice Time for Canadians...in the USA


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Consistent with other observed cross border shopping motives and habits, it seems that prime ice rink time can be had by Canadians for far less just across the border.

An Ottawa minor hockey team is travelling across the border to get a bargain on cheap, premium ice time following a shortage of rink space in the nation’s capital.

On Saturday, the West End Wolverines Minor Atoms travelled to Ogdensburg, New York, about one hour south of Ottawa.

There, the 10-year-olds get two hours on the ice during peak time — 1 p.m. on a Saturday afternoo — for less than half the price of an Ottawa rink.

“I mean, we’re not going to do it every weekend, but I think we’re going to do it again,” said team coach Hugh Gorman.

“It’s a quick short drive. Thought we’d make a bit of a road trip of it for the boys,” said Gorman. “They think it’s kind of cool to come and play hockey in the States.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/cross-border-shopping-for-ice-time-1.2127377

Is there a shortage of ice sheets / time in the Ottawa area ?

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There certainly is a shortage of ice time in my neck of the woods. If the drive to NY or Michigan state was a just a little bit shorter I would regularly take advantage of a half price deal for both my teams. Available ice time in my area is a lot like quality daycare. Even at high prices there just are not enough spots available.

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High demand for ice time in my area is driven by hockey and figure skating, with both groups fighting constantly for access and the best time slots. Parents will drive an amazing distance at strange hours just to get their kids to some quality ice sheets. In season, there are plenty of outdoor sheets available in most city parks, but the weather can be a challenge.

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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I book some practices at a phenomenal official sized, outdoor facility, with great boards, glass, good lighting, etc. The kids love it, but the parents hate me for it. I just laugh and tell them there is a Tim Horton's nearby and to dress appropriately. We do like to claim that Canadians can take the cold after all.

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Most of our outdoor rinks are well lighted and maintained by parks employees. Many have warming houses on site. Neighbourhood kids get to use the ice without much competition from the "organized" clubs because they only want fancy indoor facilities, parking lots, etc. It's gotten so bad that high school teams are beginning to push back to reclaim their own ice sheets.

One thing that has upped the demand is women's/girl's hockey teams. The figure skaters have always been a "nuisance", but now state and federal law puts female teams on an equal footing with the good 'ole boys, and they don't like it.

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My mom goes to Port Huron to buy pet food there, because its over half the price as it is here. Even though its produced in Guelph. And yet some people still argue that high taxes and regulation don't have negative economic impact, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

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One thing that has upped the demand is women's/girl's hockey teams. The figure skaters have always been a "nuisance", but now state and federal law puts female teams on an equal footing with the good 'ole boys, and they don't like it.

Those damn figure skaters are tough on the ice too. We have growing participation in ringette, women's hockey and speed skating in my area as well. Private facilities are slowly starting to fill the demand though.

My mom goes to Port Huron to buy pet food there, because its over half the price as it is here. Even though its produced in Guelph. And yet some people still argue that high taxes and regulation don't have negative economic impact, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Ice time is more of a supply and demand issue.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't think it's because of the corporate taxes. But instead supply and demand.

4 years ago i was shopping for a new ATV , looked into getting a new bombardier you know the yellow ones, anyways, at the time they were selling here in NB for about 11 k, A friend of mine told me to call over to maine and check out the prices....they were selling for 8500.00 at all the US shops, they and were told by Bombardier that they could not sell to a Canadian citizen or they would loose there lic....At the time these machines were being built in Quebec.....

When i phone the 1-800 number and talked to them, they said if a Canadian wanted to buy one of these machines he had to pay the Canadian price...US prices were set to be competive in just the US market, because they sell more machines there....Today they are now built in Mexico, and there is still a mark up for Canadians.

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I'm sure the difference in price can be explained by the salary of the people tending to the rink. The minimum wage in Ontario is $10.25. I imagine $10.25 is a living wage in many parts of the US.

Being in the US recently I've noticed that the prices of package goods aren't as different as you'd imagine. The gap on clothing has, for the most part, closed. Sure there may be high-end items where savings can be reached but not so much anymore. Canadian retailers are near the border have become much more competitive.

Now regarding alcohol and dairy, that's another story. It seems Canadian regulations and taxes screw the consumer. Alcohol is twice the price in Ontario as it is in parts of the US.

Edited by Boges
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I don't think it's because of the corporate taxes. But instead supply and demand.4 years ago i was shopping for a new ATV , looked into getting a new bombardier you know the yellow ones, anyways, at the time they were selling here in NB for about 11 k, A friend of mine told me to call over to maine and check out the prices....they were selling for 8500.00 at all the US shops, they and were told by Bombardier that they could not sell to a Canadian citizen or they would loose there lic....At the time these machines were being built in Quebec.....When i phone the 1-800 number and talked to them, they said if a Canadian wanted to buy one of these machines he had to pay the Canadian price...US prices were set to be competive in just the US market, because they sell more machines there....Today they are now built in Mexico, and there is still a mark up for Canadians.

When you consider how much government has sent Bombardier's way in grants and loans over the past few decades, that's pretty sickening. Might as well buy Japanese.

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When you consider how much government has sent Bombardier's way in grants and loans over the past few decades, that's pretty sickening. Might as well buy Japanese.

Canadians are willing to pay more, so companies charge them more. Pretty simple. No one's fault but Canadian consumers.

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Canadians are willing to pay more, so companies charge them more. Pretty simple. No one's fault but Canadian consumers.

With 2+ hour lineups at the border on weekends for cross border shopping and up to an hour on week days, they are clearly not willing to pay more. Canadian manufacturers are screwing their own retailers, either by threats or just controlling their supply.

A few years ago I bought a set of overload springs for a truck I owned. By far the lowest price I could get was from a company in the US, shipping to Sumas just across the border included. They were manufactured in Ontario. Guess who I bought them from. I wouldn't have bothered if the price had been within 15% in Canada.

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Depends on the car. Small cars cost less in Canada. Prices go up in Canada faster than in the US though.

it's a little hard to make an even comparison with cars because government standards aren't the same and vehicles have different trim levels and option packages. Things like block heaters, heated seats, steering wheels and remote start systems are more often standard on Canadian models than in the US. Some SUV's are offered with 2 wheel drive in the US where only all wheel drive models are sold in Canada. In general though, we pay more.

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With 2+ hour lineups at the border on weekends for cross border shopping and up to an hour on week days, they are clearly not willing to pay more. Canadian manufacturers are screwing their own retailers, either by threats or just controlling their supply.

Nonetheless, Canadian manufacturers and retailers both are doing plenty well enough for their own liking, with their current prices. That means enough Canadians are willing to pay what said retailers are asking. Is it better to sell 1000 widgets for $10 or 1100 widgets for $9? 1000 for $10 is preferable. Companies spend a lot of time and money on market research, and their research tells them how to price their products based on the price elasticity of demand.

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Nonetheless, Canadian manufacturers and retailers both are doing plenty well enough for their own liking, with their current prices. That means enough Canadians are willing to pay what said retailers are asking. Is it better to sell 1000 widgets for $10 or 1100 widgets for $9? 1000 for $10 is preferable. Companies spend a lot of time and money on market research, and their research tells them how to price their products based on the price elasticity of demand.

It means enough Canadians don't have easy access to the border so they can buy the same goods fo less because Canadian companies are ripping them off at home. They are using Canadian consumers to subsidize American consumers.

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