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Laborious gas price hikes

Economy: Gas nears record high as holiday approaches

Posted: September 2, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 2, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Tommy DeSantis, of Saugus, fills up his Jeep at the Arco station on Bouquet Canyon Road and Valencia Boulevard in Valencia on Thursday.

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As gas prices reach near record highs, many Santa Clarita Valley residents are staying home or traveling locally for the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“Oh yeah, the higher gas prices affect me,” said Tommy DeSantis, a 56-year-old Saugus resident.

“We can’t go places like we used to,” DeSantis said. “We won’t be going anywhere this year.”

DeSantis said he and his family normally enjoy traveling to Donner Lake near Truckee for Labor Day weekend. But this year, he’ll be staying home and barbecuing, DeSantis said.

“It costs like $125 to go one way (to Donner Lake),” DeSantis said. “That may not seem like much, but when you have a family to feed, it adds up.”

Gas prices are near the highest they’ve ever been for this time of year, according to an Associated Press report. At a current national average of $3.629 per gallon, 2008 was the only higher year with a national average of $3.686 per gallon on Sept. 1.

Southern California drivers are paying between $3.80 and $3.90 per gallon on average, a AAA news release said.
Southern California travelers are driving slightly more this year than last year, the news release said. There will be an expected 1.89 million driving travelers in Southern California this weekend, compared to 1.88 million last year, the news release said.

Carl Basurtl, a 68-year-old Valencia resident, said school and gas prices are keeping him local this holiday weekend.
“I’m not going on a trip this year,” Basurtl said. “I might have gone if gas prices were cheaper.”

Basurtl said he shops around the Santa Clarita Valley for the cheapest gas stations.

“I’ll be staying home,” said Scott Schweitzer, a 48-year-old Burbank resident who works in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“We usually like going to the Santa Barbara area,” Schweitzer said. “Gas prices had a pretty big impact on our decision to not go anywhere.”

Instead of hitting the road, Schweitzer said he’ll be staying home and firing up the barbecue.

However, at least one local resident is taking a trip for Labor Day.

“I’m going camping in the San Bernardino area with my family,” said Paul Rudolph, a 21-year-old Valencia resident.

If gas prices were lower, Rudolph may have considered taking a trip farther away, he said.

“If gas prices are cheaper, we’ll go farther,” Rudolph said. “If they’re more expensive, we’ll stay closer.”


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