Gas prices expected to remain stable for holiday weekend
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Gas prices have fallen for a fifth consecutive week leading into the Labor Day holiday weekend, according to the American Automotive Association. And they should remain relatively level for the upcoming holiday.
“The factors that influence gas prices are looking positive at this point,” said AAA spokesperson Eric Escudero. “Usually what you see coming up to a travel holiday is the demand picks up and the prices usually go up with it. So we could see a little bump in prices but in the long term we should see prices continue to go down.”
That doesn’t say much about what’s going on here in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Surprisingly, Glenwood Springs has one of the most expensive gas prices in the state listed by AAA, currently, behind Vail at $3.17 for a gallon of regular unleaded. As of Friday, Glenwood Springs average for a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.07, which is .20 cents higher than the state’s average of $2.87. At the downtown Aspen Conoco, a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.68 on Tuesday.
As of Wednesday, Aug. 22, the states average dropped 23 cents from mid-July prices and are the lowest they’ve been since the end of April this year. But don’t get too comfortable about the low prices. Most indications are that the prices will rise again soon.
“Right now it looks like we’re getting a little break in prices compared to this time last year,” Escudero said. “Historically what we’ve seen close to holidays is that gas prices will rise, but it’s always tough to tell.”
Overall, Colorado gas prices have fallen 11 out of the past 13 weeks, according to AAA, and they’ve fallen 47 cents from the all-time state average high of $3.34 set in May. Along with the sagging gas prices, Colorado has also dropped from the 11th most expensive state in the nation, for average gas prices, to the 15th in the nation.
Escudero said that he couldn’t say if prices would rise for sure or not, just that they could very easily because of a several different factors like if a production plant breaks down or is compromised by a hurricane in the southern regions.
Hurricane’s, production problems and unforeseen shortages are the three main factors that could potentially raise prices. With the recent hurricane Dean hitting Mexico, concerns about oil and gas shortages rose. However, according to AAA, a weekly inventory report by the Energy Information Association (EIA) reported gas supplies dropped by 5.78 million barrels. But crude oil supplies in the United States have increased by 1.9 million barrels which should maintain prices for a while.
But Escudero said that with all the contributing factors, prices can raise quickly.
“They can change on any bit of news,” Escudero said. “The only thing certain about gas prices is that they are always uncertain.”
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Vail broke the $200 lift ticket barrier during the holidays last winter. Aspen hasn’t topped the $200 mark yet, but both resorts are raising their peak prices this season.