Detroit Championship: Canadian Hotel

Hi,

We’re planning on flying to Detroit for the competiton, and held rooms at a hotel in advance. However, we just realized that the hotel we reserved is in Canada…

Holiday Inn Express Windsor Waterfront

Are there teams with experience having the hotel be in Canada? Should we try and reserve a different hotel in Detroit? Any tips about which hotels?

Thanks,
Orian Leitersdorf

Well, it is an international border crossing that technically requires a passport or enhanced ID, so you’ll be required to have correct paperwork available for everyone on your team.

But from a practicality perspective, I’d VERY highly recommend a US hotel.

There are two methods of getting across the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor. The first being the Ambassador Bridge. The second being the Detroit-Windsor tunnel. Both are very prone to backups depending on the particular day. I live in the metropolitan Detroit area and very routinely hear traffic reports of 1+ hour delays in each direction.

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Especially being from an American international school where (I assume) not all students are US/Canadian citizens, that will make it even harder to cross the border in a quick fashion in order to get to competition on time in the morning. On top of the bureaucratic problems and traffic jams, you should really try to get a hotel in the US.

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I have no idea what the hotel situation is like in Detroit, but I’m almost certain that a better hotel could be found in the US, even if you had to go further out by miles. Getting a group of people through the border every day during rush hour is going to be a massive hassle and it is almost definitely not a good idea. You can find the delay status online. Per a quick google, Israeli nationals with passports do not need to do anything in advance to enter Canada by land from the US, but if you fly into Canada you would have to deal with an online pre-authorization form. Assuming everyone on your team is a national, it would probably work OK, but making a one-border cross and back trip into a two-border, multiple crossings trip sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. You will have to declare all goods such as team laptops every single time, everyone’s passports will be thoroughly checked both ways. All it takes is your driver to lose their passport or someone to get pulled in for secondary screening and you miss a match.

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Thanks for everyone’s advice here, we’re investigating hotels in Detroit (we can still cancel the one in Canada so we should be fine).

Hope to see you there,
Orian Leitersdorf

I’d double check obviously bc this is just anecdotal, but when we went to the Windsor-Essex Regional back in 2015, we crossed the border every morning and night, and we didn’t require anything special because it was a school function, but your mileage may vary obviously.

The rule about school groups of minors needing only a birth certificate is part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Iniatitive (WHTI). It applies at land crossings to US and Canadian nationals only.

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Last year, there were morning traffic jams to cross the border every day (or so we heard). You might want to save hassle and try to find something in the US.

I feel you. My mom almost accidentally booked a hotel in Canada until my little sister pointed out she was going to pay in Canadian dollars! Live and learn I guess lol.

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We went to Windsor in 2017 and 2018. We had a list of all the students on the bus and their ID information to provide at the border, along with whatever paperwork from the school was needed (wasn’t directly involved in the specifics there).

I will say we just drove across the border every day, and it didn’t take us very long. That said, I have heard of times when it is really bad. I would say it is not worth the risk and logistical hassle.

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