According to AAA the average price for regular unleaded in Fort Smith is $3.57 per gallon. At some gas stations prices push the $4 mark. “It’s ridiculous,” said Levan Woods, “I don’t see how people make it. It’s hard to survive like this.”
According to AAA, gas prices in the Fort Smith area are up almost 20-cents from this time last year.
Travel agents say so far fuel prices have not affected spring break travelers who booked trips early. “We’re doing mainly airfare and cruises,” said Rick Deramus, owner of Deramus Travel, Inc. in Fort Smith, “It probably will affect last minute travel, or people driving, or doing stay vacations here.”
Deramus says airfare prices are also up from this time last year. He says because of fuel prices people may decide to stay close to home. “You may not be driving to Destin or to Padres,” said Deramus, “You may be doing something closer to home like Branson.”
Some say they will still drive despite the high prices. “If I’m gonna go on my trip I’m still gonna go,” said Davy Payson, a driver, “I’m just gonna have to pay the gas prices.”
Others opt out. Some plan to stay put. “My plan was to go to New York,” said Woods, “Now I ain’t gone be able to make it to New York, so I’m gone have to settle for staying home I wreck on.”
Some experts predict gas prices could reach $4 or $5 a gallon.