Local gas prices higher than national prices
Average gas prices on South Shore are down about a quarter since November 1997, but still are close to 16 cents higher than the national average.
A survey of the 11 South Lake Tahoe stations this week showed the average price for a gallon of self-service regular unleaded was about $1.16.
Unlike the fall 1997 survey, the Tahoe Daily Tribune did not investigate gas prices in Meyers and Douglas County due to road construction delays in both areas.
Three gas stations surveyed last year, the state line Shell, the “Y” Shell and USA at the “Y” were not selling gas and thus did not participate this year.
Of the 11 stations, Tahoe Tom’s was again the least expensive, at almost $1.09 per gallon for regular unleaded. Last November, Tahoe Tom’s charged almost $1.30 for regular unleaded, still less expensive than any other South Shore station.
Three stations tied for the cheapest mid-grade gas. Terrible Herbst, Citgo at 7-Eleven and Stop and Save all had midgrade at nearly $1.20 a gallon.
Stop and Save beat Tahoe Tom’s by 4 cents to hold the title for cheapest high-grade gas at a dollar and a quarter. Tahoe Tom’s is the only gas station in the city not to offer a midgrade.
“I buy here regularly and have noticed it down a few cents,” Wayne Yoakum said while filling up at Stop and Save. Yoakum, a 40-year South Lake Tahoe resident, said he uses Stop and Save almost exclusively due to the low prices and ease of access.
Patrick Pearson, a nine-year resident who said he has also noticed a drop in gas prices, agreed with Yoakum.
“This one (Stop and Save) and 7-Eleven keep the lowest prices,” he said.
Station managers interviewed were happy to help their customers out with the drop in prices, but were unable to offer a solid reason for the decrease.
Eric Mahan, state line Unocal manager, said he has heard nothing officially from his corporate offices as to why the prices dropped.
Ed Givant, owner of Stop and Save, said crude oil prices have dropped, which may account for part of the decreased prices.
Interestingly enough, Givant said he gets his gas, which is among the cheapest in the city for all three grades, from the same place in Sacramento as all the other South Lake Tahoe stations.
Fox stations manager Chris Cefalu offered an explanation as to why gas may be more expensive in the Tahoe Basin. Cefalu said stations farther away from the source must pay more in freight charges.
Residents liking the cheap gas may want to fill up now. Mahan said the “big gun” gas stations, such as Unocal, Texaco and Shell, got corporate direction to raise their prices 4.6 cents to 5 cents worldwide last week.
“They’re already going up,” he said, a trend which may continue into the winter.
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