Tourists not detered by high gas prices

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 31, 2004

The steady increase in gas prices has not yet had an impact on some local businesses and consumers. There are some who feel that they won’t be affected at all this summer.

Elbert Martin of Natchez said that he doesn’t plan to cut back on his travels for this summer.

&uot;It’s just gonna cost us more,&uot; Martin said as he was pumping gas into his RV on Monday.

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Martin, who is retired, hopes gas prices will level off at some point this summer.

&uot;If we were able to get into Alaska, our oil prices would go down,&uot; Martin said.

Martin recently got back from a trip to Texas and plans to make a trip to Tennessee this week.

According to the Associated Press, the biweekly Lundberg survey indicated the weighted national average for the three grades of gasoline stood at $2.10 per gallon as of last Friday.

The survey regularly polls 8,000 gas stations across the United States.

Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the survey, indicated Sunday that the rise was caused by increased demand created by market pressures and seasonal environmental regulations requiring a move to costlier formulas.

According to Lundberg, gas prices throughout the country have continued to rise and show no signs of slowing their climb.

Rene Adams, assistant manager at Dunleith, said that so far this summer she has not felt any impact from rising gas prices.

According to Adams, business has been steady and she is looking forward to the summer.

&uot;We’ve actually seen a little bit of a pickup in our daily tours and lunches,&uot; Adams said.

&uot;We hope that everything will remain the same.&uot;

Tourism in Mississippi also hasn’t been affected by increased gas prices according to Mollie Gregory.

&uot;We have not seen any effects directly on tourism,&uot; Gregory said.

Gregory, public relations manager for the Mississippi Development Authority’s Division of Tourism, said the economy picking back up would result in increased travel throughout the state.

According to Del Loy, vice president in charge of bookkeeping at The Markets, prices on food items throughout the stores have not been affected by the rise in gas prices.

&uot;We haven’t seen anything yet, but if gas prices remain high we’ll begin to see an impact,&uot; Loy said.

Loy said rising gas prices wouldn’t have a direct impact on store prices, but it would have a trickle-down effect.

According to Loy, The Markets receive three to five trucks a week from wholesalers and they pay a fuel sur charge for the delivery.

He noted, however, that the store receives deliveries from several direct vendors as well.

&uot;The wholesaler won’t raise it until gas prices remain high,&uot; Loy said.

In regards to consumer behavior, Loy said he hasn’t noticed any changes in their buying habits.

&uot;They’re still buying bread and milk,&uot; Loy said.