Many Local Residents Staying Home For Christmas

Charlie Nickerson of Jamestown fuels his car at Kwik Fill. Just shy of the holidays, the national average for December is $2.46, the lowest in 2018 P-J photo by William Mohan

Chautauqua County residents have received an early Christmas gift.

AAA reported Wednesday that gas prices have averaged $2.46 in the first week of December. This is the lowest national average in 2018.

The agency reported that due in part to the current national average that one-third of Americans will travel this year.

This year’s record of 112.5 holiday travelers is a 4.4 percent increase over 2017 and the most since AAA started forecasting holiday travel practices in 2001.

However, for all the many advantages that low prices offer, many residents have preferred to stay home for the holidays. The Post-Journal asked fuel customers how they intend to travel for the holidays, if at all. Most respondents were in favor on staying at home for Christmas.

Some residents cited unique reasons in choosing to stay local. In particular, it was to take advantage of the prices of gas while staying home.

The little travel that area residents will do will be local.

“I just think it makes it more pleasurable to fill up,” Charlie Nickerson of Jamestown said. “Its nice to seem them under three dollars a gallon.”

“We’re staying home,” Amanda Burbank of Stow said.

However, some did admit that they want to travel when prices are lower any time of the year. To some it would not matter how high or low.

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“I’m basically travelling around the county on a daily basis, but it wouldn’t deter my plans if they did go up in price,” Nickerson said. “I will probably travel within 20 to 25 minutes because my family’s around here.”

Some residents don’t let the gas prices affect them no matter how high they are. To that end some would travel anytime.

“It doesn’t really affect me if we do,” Burbank said.

“It definitely would help with that,’ Micah Meredith of Lakewood added.

For some residents the decreased prices have not deterred them at all.

“It has no effect on me,” Kurt Town of Greenhurst said. “It could be $6 a gallon and I’d still be going to the same place I’m going but I’m not going far because it’s off the lake.”

Town said that he could drive anywhere across Chautauqua Lake and not be affected by any price change.

“Ashville, Lakewood, not too far for me,” Town cited as an example.

Meredith said he was staying home. He added that while he is not affected by fuel prices, he can see how others would be.

“We’re not going anywhere, but obviously it would for other people,” he said. “We’ll be local within 20 miles basically.”

Meredith noted that other states sell gas at just over $1. He also noted that New York residents are at a tremendous disadvantage and cited a recent trip by his mother in Ohio as example.

“She was up here for a visit, she came back, she said I just got gas for $1.88,” Meredith said.

He emphasized the role of state taxes in gas sales.

“It’s a $1.65 here plus taxes,” he said.

AAA attributed the increase in travel for the 2018 holiday was the combination two factors. They were disposable income and the recent drop. The result was more Americans motivated to travel this season.

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