Gas prices drop, even in Tahoe |

Gas prices drop, even in Tahoe

Andy Bourelle

Gasoline prices around the country may be at an all-time low, but prices at Tahoe – while some are lower than normal – still are higher than the national average.

“Right now we’re lower than we normally are,” said Anthony Luke, assistant manager of Terrible Herbst on Lake Tahoe Boulevard. “Normally, we’re around $1.09 (for regular gasoline). Now, we’re about $1.05. Compared to Carson City, it’s higher.”

Others are lower than normal, too.

“We’re down about 20 cents from previous years,” said Mike Roach, manager of the Stateline Union 76, whose price for regular gasoline currently is about $1.15.

Tahoe Tom’s on Lake Tahoe Boulevard is providing regular gas for less than a dollar.

“Gas price is down, so we have a low price – 99 cents,” said Mohammed Riaz, Tahoe Tom’s owner.

Lake Tahoe has higher prices compared to other areas.

The weighted national average, including all grades and taxes, was 99.8 cents per gallon on Friday, according to the nationwide Lundberg survey of 10,000 stations. The average prices at self-service stations was 93.63 cents per gallon for regular gasoline, $1.04 for mid-grade and $1.13 for premium.

Gasoline prices have been steadily dropping for a year and a half, thanks to an oversupply of crude and refined oil products, creating the lowest prices in the history of the retail gas market when adjusted for inflation.

“Basically, there’s a glut. There’s so much of it out there,” said Peter Krueger, state executive of the Nevada Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association.

An increased spring demand for gasoline and more expensive seasonal anti-smog blending processes will probably bring the price declines to an end soon, said Trilby Lundberg, industry analyst who announced the survey’s results.

”The price-cutting is faster and deeper than it’s been so far this year, but it is probably fizzing out,” she said.

While gas prices in Carson City and Reno are slightly lower than South Shore’s, Carson Valley prices are significantly less. Regular gasoline can be purchased for 91 cents in Gardnerville and Minden.

Steve McIntyre, manager of the AM-PM Mini-Mart in Gardnerville, said prices there are lower than he has seen in 12 years.

“Taking inflation as a factor, gas prices today are the lowest ever. In the ’60s, I was paying 33 to 34 cents a gallon, and back then minimum wage was $1.50 an hour,” he said. “Now it is $5.75, and gas is less than a dollar a gallon.”

Taxes, cost of transportation and differences in market style create the variations in cost, according to Al Moss, owner of two South Shore Chevron stations.

“There are a lot of different variables,” Moss said. “To compare Carson City to South Lake Tahoe from a retailer standpoint really is to compare apples to oranges.”

Not all service stations have lower-than-normal prices, however. Many big oil companies have kept their prices the same. Moss said major oil companies have been paying as much as 20 cents more per gallon for their gas than independent stations.

However, Moss said, the differences will begin to disappear as the price of crude oil rises.

“The whole thing is on a pendulum. It will swing the other way,” Moss said.

-The Associated Press and Tribune News Service reporter Merrie Leininger contributed to this report

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