People to travel this 4th of July weekend amid high gas prices

Valley News Live at 10:00PM KVLY - VOD
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 9:52 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Gas prices have slowly come down from a recent surge that has impacted the U.S. However, gas prices are still near-record highs which has made some reconsider their holiday plans, but the state of North Dakota is expecting a busy travel weekend.

“It’s a little disheartening to see those prices bump up.” said Kim Schmidt, the communications manager for the North Dakota Dept. of Commerce.

According to the AAA, the average cost of a gallon of unleaded regular fuel is around $1.70 more than this time last year. It is sitting around $4.86 as of June 30.

“It just hurts, when you are sitting there just watching the gas tank you’re like, man, I swear it just gets higher and higher each week.” said Peter Gualandri, who left to travel across the state from Fargo, ND.

AAA however, is predicting over 48 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more, over the holiday weekend. That is an increase of 4% compared to 2021. Despite the higher cost in gas and the rise of inflation, drivers like Gualandri are willing to hit the road and make memories.

“Life is more than money, and certain memories are worth the cost. Regardless of what it is,” said Gualandri. “Sure you have to save in other areas. The memories and the people you take the time with is really worth it.”

Tourism and road travel is a vital part of North Dakota’s economy according to experts in the field. Whether it’s through visiting campgrounds in the rural areas to going to small towns like Medora, ND, it plays a crucial role. Especially after the state, and the nation, dealt with the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic the past couple of years.

“Oh it’s vital, I think that we know that we’re still trying to rebound from the pandemic, and so we know that those travelers are vital to our economy.” said Schmidt.

“It’s nothing but wonderful for the economy, we get to share all that we know and love about our community with visitors.” said Charley Johnson, the president and CEO of the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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