Oregon sees ripple effect of high gas prices

Oregon sees ripple effect of high gas prices

Oregon sees ripple effect of high gas prices

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by Joe Smith

Bio | Email | Follow: @JoeSmithKGW

kgw.com

Posted on March 7, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 8 at 10:27 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The average price for a gallon of unleaded in Oregon is now $3.59 a gallon. This is up 74 cents higher than a year ago. With speculation prices will top $4 plus soon, family budgets and the states economic recovery are paying the price.

The impact at the pump is now a habit changer.

"I've already changed my habits a little bit, I rode my bike down here," said Peter Wills of Portland.

"I'm MAXing it," said Ricky Overston of Portland.

"I just bought a car last year that's super gas friendly," said Amy Fowler from Brush Prairie, Washington.

Memories of $4-a gallon gas are still fresh from a few years ago. Now with the cost of a barrel of oil at $105.44, there is worry revolts in the Middle East could disrupt supplies from top oil exporters. New habits now die hard.

Check Lowest Prices: Portland Gas Tracker

Laureen Retzlaff from West Linn has changed her diving habits.

"I have my little car we drive that the majority of the time,".

There is concern now on  the overall effect on our fragile economic recovery.

"Generally speaking the higher gas prices are in U.S., the slower our economy will grow, because we import most of the oil that we use," said Shaw Narancich, and economist with Ferguson Wellman Capital Management.

Higher prices are being felt at the grocery store, on heating oil. Most airlines are now adding a fuel surcharge.

"I think it's more accurate to look at the prices of oil on the continuum and how that effects the marginal purchasing power of the American consumer," said Narancich.

With Spring Break just weeks away, hotels along Oregon's Coast are hoping the higher cost of gas will  benefit them, as more people opt for a stay cation.  Overall, those in the hospitality and tourism industry wonder of a repeat of 2008.

"'That's the big concern, that the regional traffic that's going to drive here from Seattle, from Boise, from Spokane from Eugene even, that's where it's a little trickier. Are they going to spend the dollars to get here," said Steve Faulstick, General Manager of Double Tree Portland.

It's why Travel Portland continues with special promotions to drive business here.

"Portland perks plus 50. Not only do you get a great hotel, Free parking, breakfast for two, but you also get $50 cold hard cash," said Brian McCartin, Vice President of convention and tourism sales for Travel Portland.

Oregon is now 10th highest in the nation for gas. It was 8th last week. Washington is 9th, for the second week in a row.

 

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