Bellingham, BC (before, on the way to, Canada) was a phrase that came up in a brainstorming session I dropped into about promoting tourism and the local economy way back in the 1980s. It's happening.
New hotel at Northwest and Bakerview and another about to open a bit to the west along Bakerview. There are plans for (from what I read) two more?
Airport traffic. Lots of Canadians from Vancouver Metropolitan area seem to be choosing to fly to their "stateside" locations from Bellingham International, rather than Vancouver International.
Then there's the people who come down here to buy gas. All those gas cans on the road are starting to worry highway safety people.
Milk is a more benign substance than gasoline and Canadians are coming down to buy lots of milk as well. Milk from Costco and other places by the truckload. There are rumors that Canadians like to bathe in milk, but it must be that they are just making milk runs for the whole neighborhood.
US subsidizes dairy prices so that's part of what's driving the milk flow.
Does Bellingham really like being this kind of bargain basement? It does bring a lot of service jobs. Store clerks, motel maids and so forth. Still, people say it's hard to find; especially, meaningful work in Bellingham.
As for the mood of the shoppers, some folks complain that we are being overrun by aggressive Canadian shoppers. I haven't noticed this anymore than being overrun by aggressive American shoppers. I guess shopping can be a rat race and can bring out bad sides in people. Maybe people should come here to dance or join intelligent discussion groups. Then we would get a better impression of the folks in our midst.
Pictured above: Marriott SpringHill Suites.