By Shane Bevell
High gas prices are not deterring travelers this holiday weekend.
Utah residents will be hitting the road in order to celebrate Independence Day.
According to Rolayne Fairclough, public affairs/legislative analyst for AAA in Utah, an estimated 341,000 Utahns will travel at least 100 miles from home this holiday weekend.
Fairclough said this is an increase of 3 percent from last year.
High gas prices haven’t seemed to make a difference among travelers, Fairclough said.
The price of gasoline is up 27 cents from last year, Fairclough said.
Fairclough said there are various reasons there will be more travelers this year as compared to last year, even though gas prices are much higher.
“The economy is strong,” Fairclough said. “Consumers are able to absorb the high cost of gasoline,” she added.
Fairclough also said another reason for the increased travel is that many Utahns are taking a four-day holiday since the 4th is on Tuesday.
The 27 cents a gallon increase from last year is due to both the increased price of crude oil and the busy summer travel season, Fairclough said.
According to Janet Meason, manager of Maxi Mart, 3179 North Canyon Road, gas prices went down last week, but raised again this week by about 5 cents because the cost from their distributor went up.
However, we are still expecting a lot of business due to the fact that so many people are traveling, Meason said.
“It’s worth the extra money to go see family and to have a little break,” Angela Sandstom from Riverton said. She will be traveling 120 miles from home this weekend.
According to Chris Jensen, assistant manager of Mavericks, 307 South 700 East in Provo, business will increase this holiday weekend.
“We’ll be pretty busy, especially because of our location with regards to the parade,” Jensen said.
Although gas prices are high, Jensen said a big holiday such as the 4th of July would not deter many travelers.
However, we have noticed a drop in business during this summer season, Jensen said.
Fairclough said she expects gas prices to remain steady for the summer.
“We anticipate a high demand for gasoline this summer,” Fairclough said.
Fairclough estimates prices will drop after Labor Day, when the summer traveling season ends.