Cheaper gasoline prices cropping up |

Cheaper gasoline prices cropping up

Annie Flanzraich

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – No, it’s not a mirage, the signs are true.

Some gas stations on the South Shore are showing prices of $3.09, $3.07 and $3.05 for a gallon of unleaded gas.

At Fox Gasoline, the price of unleaded dropped to $3.09 a gallon, about 20 cents cheaper than the price in the beginning of the week.

“The economy is really bad up here, so if I can save someone 20 cents on a 10 gallon fill-up, that’s $2,” said Manager Chris Cefalu.

The gas price changes came after Roadrunner Gas and Liquor owner Mike Murphy announced Wednesday that he would begin pricing gas at his Meyers gas station at 10 cents more than the California state average – making it about 15 cents to 20 cents less than other South Tahoe area stations.

On Wednesday he saw an 80 percent increase in volume in gas sold.

“We were slammed,” Murphy said. “It looks like it’s really taking off. People have been coming from the middle of town to get gas. The phone rang non-stop for three hours with people wanting to know what the price was.”

Murphy said that if the store maintains a 30 to 40 percent increase in volume through the weekend, he may lower the price by another 5 cents.

Other stations in town have also lowered their gas prices. A gallon of unleaded regular gasoline cost $3.05 at Tahoe Tom’s, $3.07 at the Chevron in Meyers (across the street from RoadRunner), and $3.09 at the Chevron on Ski Run Boulevard.

Cefalu said he didn’t know how long the low prices would continue at Fox.

“It’s all relative to the nature of competition,” Cefalu said. “If there are four gas stations and one guy lowers his prices, you can almost guarantee that the other three will (lower their prices) if they want to stay competitive.”

Gas prices in Nevada and California also dropped statewide in the past eight days, according to AAA.

At a statewide average of $2.84 a gallon, Nevadans are paying 3 cents more than last year in September, but 13 cents less than last month. The national average also is $2.84 a gallon, down 6 cents since August.

Gas prices in Carson City average $2.87, down 5 cents. The average in Reno is $2.93, down 23 cents in the last month.

In California, drivers on average are paying less for a gallon of gas than they were last year.

The Golden State’s average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.02, down 16 cents since last month’s report on Aug. 10. That’s 15 cents lower than California’s average price during this time in 2009, when it was $3.17.

Lowering gas prices will help businesses all over the South Shore, Murphy said.

“People who make a point to go down the hill for gas say it doesn’t make sense anymore,” he said. “I think if I can keep the price low, I’ll see more volume – and that’s good for the whole town.”

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