Snowbirds Headed South for the Winter

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Hartley Deighton is working on his latest project in the wood shop at snowbird headquarters "Noah's Ark".

Deighton is from Ontario, Canada.

"This will be our 12th year, about 6 to 7 years that I've been coming here. We just like the area and the temperature,” said Deighton. “The people are great, very friendly."

Most years Deighton spends the first part of the holiday season with his large extended family.

The rest he likes to spend alone, with his wife.

'It's our time now, we've raised our family."

Locals are hoping there are more northern visitors like Deighton.

After a record spring and summer season, they want to keep the cash flow coming.

"They're coming in slowly,” said Ric Brigman the executive director of Food4Kidz. “They won't be in full force until after the first."

Brigman does not expect the bulk of the snowbird until after the first of the year.

"January and February are the busiest months," Brigman said.

Some are worried tougher health insurance restrictions will keep some of the Canadians are home this year, but Deighton's travel plans included buying supplemental health insurance.

"We buy it prior to leaving so that if anything happens, even on the way down we are covered."

Tourism officials said the average snowbird couple spends a little more than $76,000 during their average 71-night visit.

Bed tax revenues during the last snowbird season were a little more than $790,000.