LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — On the road and in the air, the high price of fuel is impacting how people get around.
13 Action News reporter Jeremy Chen takes a look at some of the cheapest spots for gas in the Las Vegas valley and he speaks to a travel expert on what fuel prices mean for airline tickets.
The hunt for cheaper gas
High gas prices at the pump are driving people in the Las Vegas valley to places like Costco and Sam’s Club for the cheapest gas they can find.
Lines of cars snaked around the Costco Business Center warehouse on 222 North Martin Luther King Boulevard near Bonanza Road Wednesday as people hoped to take advantage of cheaper gas.
“It looks like it’s 20 cents cheaper than anyplace else that I could find nearby," said Kelly Jones of Mesquite.
CONTINUING COVERAGE: Drilling into the high gas prices in Nevada
The price at this Costco location is $4.29 for regular unleaded, among the cheapest in the valley.
“It used to be $50 to fill up the tanks and now it’s like $70 or $80,” said Michael Hernandez of Las Vegas.
Just a few blocks down, Chevron offers regular gas at $4.79 a gallon, a 50-cent difference but no lines. One driver from Mesquite is completely fine with waiting at Costco.
“We’ve been here only five minutes and then the line is zipping along, and we had to be here anyway, so it seems like it’s going to pay off,” Jones said.
On GasBuddy, prices across the valley hovered around $4.40 to $4.60 a gallon for regular gas but in places like Jean and Primm, the prices went past the $5 mark.
Aldo Vasquez with AAA says the western U.S., especially Nevada, typically sees higher prices. “We have fewer refineries than some of our east coast neighbors. Fewer pipelines come through. These areas and you have to factor in transportation costs,” he said.
Vasquez says essentially here in Nevada, it takes more gas to get the gas to your local pumps. “So, it takes longer to transport the gasoline around and that adds up to the cost as well."
He says drivers should plan ahead to find cheaper gas.
“You can use Google maps to find stations that are cheaper. Obviously, AAA has resources to help you find gas stations,” he said.
Drivers at Costco say they’ll be cutting back on unnecessary driving. “I will usually be driving a lot but now I have to stop. I’ve been filling up my gas tank like every three days,” Jones said.
Fuel costs and flying
“If I didn’t already have it locked in, I’d be very concerned for anyone planning on booking for this summer or the fall," said Kem Hudson. He feels very fortunate to be able to secure his round-trip tickets to Hawaii, flying from Charleston, West Virginia.
“Round trip for my wife and I was $3,300,” he said. For him, it was a good price. The price of fuel is on his mind.
“When you travel, there’s a lot of unexpected things you can’t account for but the things that you do, I’d like to do some research before I contact my travel agent,” he said.
His travel agent, Raymond Crockett with Ray’s Travel Company in Henderson says airlines are taking a wait-and-see approach with the price of crude oil. He says he doesn’t expect big increases temporarily, but that could change
“Is that likely to change if this persists and this war continues or so forth, then yes the prices will definitely go up,” said Crockett.
He says prices have seen a general increase. For popular destinations like Las Vegas to New York City, prices last year hovered from $225 to $300 round-trip. Now, it’s about $400. He says much of that is due to the demand for travel.
“Then we’re going to see the price go up. If the demand goes down, then the prices follow through. It’s simple economics,” he said.
Hudson says people should plan ahead if they want to fly somewhere in the next few weeks or months.
“Do a lot of research. Do a lot of research. Whether you book it yourself or through a travel agent,” he said.
What can Nevada expect to pay for gas in the upcoming months? 13 Action News has the updates on what it will take to fill your car's gas tank on ktnv.com/GasPrices.