Local gas station owner to lower prices
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Roadrunner Gas and Liquor owner Mike Murphy is putting his money where his mouth is – and he’s asking locals to do the same.
Beginning Wednesday, Murphy will begin pricing gas at his Meyer’s 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.
“My hope is that people who complain (about gas prices) will put their money where their mouth is and buy gas at roadrunner and then we’ll drop prices even more,” he said.
The California average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $3.023 as of Tuesday afternoon according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
To finance the drop in price, Murphy took $30,000 from his own bank account and put it toward lowering gas prices until Nov. 30. He believes that if 10 to 20 percent more buy gas at Roadrunner, he’ll be able to break even on gas prices.
“I won’t make any money, but I won’t lose any money,” he said. “That’s what I’m willing to do to see if people will respond.”
If Roadrunner sees more than a 20 percent increase in customers, Murphy said he will look at lowering the prices even more to 5 cents more than the state average.
“It’s an experiment, and I hope it turns out well,” Murphy said. “At the very least, our gas will be lower than everyone.”
In July, AAA reported that South Lake Tahoe hosts the most expensive gas in the nation. The report averaged gas prices from nine South Shore gas stations, among the lowest number of stations sampled for 25 Northern California areas and seven Northern Nevada areas monitored by AAA, said Michael Geeser, a spokesman for the car club. The Las Vegas average includes more than 300 gas stations, Geeser noted.
Murphy has also argued that AAA’s study is not a fair representation of Tahoe’s gas prices because reports do not take a comprehensive look at gas stations throughout the country, according to Geeser.
Gas prices on the South Shore ranged from $3.27 to $3.35 as of Tuesday, according to gasbuddy
.com. Unleaded regular gas cost $3.39 per gallon at the Chevron across the street from Roadrunner’s.
The lower price strategy was intentionally launched during the shoulder season, Murphy said.
“It seems like mot of the locals are concerned about gas prices,” he said. “So we’re going to do it now, when there are mostly locals here, and they can have access to the store.”
In addition to lowering gas prices, Murphy will also remove the 9/10 cent from all prices.
“I’ve always wanted to take it off but I wanted to do it at the right time,” he said.
While pumping gas at Roadrunner Tuesday afternoon, Wolf Strauss said the lower prices would make him return to the station in the future.
“I buy the cheapest gas I can, wherever it is,” Strauss said.