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ND Tourism director still optimistic, despite high gas prices

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – North Dakota's tourism director says she's still optimistic North Dakota will see a successful tourist season -- despite high gas prices.

Sara Otte Coleman says she's been hearing reports that the season, so far, has been good -- despite cool weather in the beginning of June.

"Our strategy to market closer to home, and to market in those areas where we can offer something unique, will pay off for the summer," said Otte Coleman. "You know -- our neighbors, the states around us, as well as Canada."

Otte Coleman says through May, the number of Canadians crossing the border at Pembina is up 40 percent from last year.

"We're seeing some good publicity in Canada on how America is such a good buy, and they think our gas is a good buy," said Coleman. "So that's really strong."

Coleman says through April, hotels and motels were reporting high occupancy rates.