BOZEMAN – If you’re hitting the road this Memorial Day weekend, there’s a number you’ll want to keep an eye on; $2.87. According to AAA, that number is that average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Montana.
GasBuddy.com, a nationwide website that updates the latest gas prices, said that due to OPEC production decreases, the Iran nuclear deal, and an overall decline in supply, these are the highest gasoline prices since 2014. The website also conducted a survey, which said that 39 percent of travelers said their travel decisions are impacted by gasoline prices, so for a tourist destination like Montana, there could be ramifications for travelers looking to take a road trip.
“We do think it will have an effect as far as how far people will travel,” said Daryl Schliem, President and CEO of the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce. “We do think we’ll maybe not have people drive as far as they have in the past from the surrounding four states to be able to come here,” he said.
But there is good news for in-state travelers: Montana is slightly below the national gas price average, which sits at $2.93 per gallon, and Schliem said he doesn’t expect to see too much of an impact on local travel.
"I think the thing that’s a little bit different about 2018 than probably it was in 2014 or 2013, is if you also look at the economy, it’s much stronger, wages have started to increase a little bit,” Schliem said. “I think the overall effect of what people have planned for vacations, probably are not going to see that impact right now as long as the economy is doing as well as it is."
AAA predicts around 37 million people to travel over the holiday weekend.