Friday, May 25, 2001

Price of gas crimps plans

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Here's something we won't be celebrating this weekend: the cost of gasoline.

        With unleaded regular prices topping $1.70 a gallon, some families in Greater Cincinnati may be rethinking holiday plans.

        The LeSuer family of Crescent Springs normally piles into their 1995 Chevrolet Blazer this time of year to visit relatives in Pennsylvania. But gas prices will keep them in the Tristate for Memorial Day 2001.

        “I hate it,” Lisa LeSuer said. The rising gas prices are “going to make a difference in the next car we buy.”

        Despite the record gasoline prices, AAA predicts 34.2 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles this holiday weekend, up from 34.1 million last year. About 28.5 million will travel by automobile, and 5.7 million will travel by plane, train or bus.

        “Most folks are not letting gas prices deter their travel plans. They're finding ways to make it work,” said Jennifer Ledonne, spokeswoman for AAA Cincinnati.

        She knows travelers who are visiting Tennessee this weekend rather than Florida, and others who are planning to dine at less expensive places to balance the higher cost of gas.

        Nationwide, three in 10 Americans have said gas prices caused them to cancel trips, cut back their plans or change their mode of transportation, according to one poll.

        Those fueling up Thursday in Cincinnati paid an average of $1.74 per gallon for self-serve unleaded gas. That compared to $1.73 in Kentucky and $1.69 across the nation, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge.

        Prices are expected to rise this weekend.


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