Gas prices on the rise |

Gas prices on the rise

Susan Wood

Gas prices have risen for the summer travel season – despite the fact that the price of crude oil has remained roughly the same over the last few months.

However, motorists may not care or even notice.

“There’s nothing I can do about it,” said Sherry Farens, who drives a Toyota Rav. While flashing a Shell card, the South Lake Tahoe woman admitted she didn’t notice the price of a gallon of gasoline had gone up.

The station at the “Y” charges $2.05 for a gallon of self-serve, unleaded fuel.

There are less expensive stations on the South Shore – with prices starting at $1.81 a gallon and capping at about $2.07.

On either side of the lake, higher gas prices probably won’t hinder some residents’ or visitors’ travel plans.

Like Farens, Mario Cruz of a San Francisco suburb said the price of gas doesn’t matter.

“If you have to go, you have to go,” Cruz said, filling up his sedan at the Shell station.

Both California’s and Nevada’s tourism boards also believe the price of gas has little effect on visitation in the state.

California Travel and Tourism Commission spokesman Fred Sater said it takes a gas shortage like the one that marked the late 1970s to have any significant effect on the travel plans of tourists.

Across the border, tourism officials are optimistic.

“I can tell you tourism keeps increasing in Nevada. People need vacations. The thing is, people find a way to do the things they want to do,” said Chris Crystal, director of the Nevada Commission on Tourism. “Nevada has seen energy crises and gas prices come and go.”

Crystal operates on the theory that if you give visitors a good enough reason to frequent an area, they will.

In the last decade, Nevada has witnessed a significant shift in competitive tourism numbers over the summer – a season of sweltering heat that used to drive visitors to the coast.

On the average, motorists pay $1.76 for a gallon of unleaded fuel in Nevada, the American Automobile Association reported Monday. This compares to $1.72 a month ago. It was higher a year ago – $1.80 a gallon.

Carson City averages between $1.80 and $1.90.

The Golden State came in at the current price of $1.83, $1.73 a month ago and $1.79 a year ago.

In San Francisco, unleaded fuel in the self-serve aisle runs $2.00. It was $1.90 a month ago and $1.99 a year ago.

Off the Sierra Nevada’s west slope, unleaded fuel goes for $1.87 in Sacramento. It was $1.74 a month ago and $1.85 last year at this time.

The national average is $1.58, although the price of a barrel of crude remains at $28.96.

“Crude oil (prices) are calm, so at this point, the higher (gas) prices are due to the summer driving season,” AAA Northern California spokesman Justin O’Brien said from his San Francisco office.

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