Just in time for motorists to hit the road for summer vacations, gas prices are nearing $4.00 a gallon.
Many stations on the north side of town on Maple Avenue are already at $3.95 a gallon. We were able to find gas as low as $3.61 at the Murphy and Sheetz stations south of town on Maysville Pike earlier on Thursday, but the prices seem to fluctuate by the minute. Steve Miller owns Sarah's House Victorian Bed and Breakfast in Dresden and said he hears complaints on the varying high prices from his guests all the time.
"Gas prices are a frustration and an irritant to everybody right now," Miller said. "I mean here we are in the middle of the Marcellus Utica Shale Oil, one of the biggest oil finds in the world maybe, and our gas prices are nearing $4, so there's no correlation. That's what, I guess, is kind of frustrating."
Another concern with higher prices is the hurt it could put on the economy if less people are driving and taking fewer summer trips.
"I think it's pretty well putting a crunch on people that's already hurting to try to go places for the summer," said Dan Stovall who was passing through Zanesville from Oklahoma. "You've got families, you've got the prices of amusement parks, you've got everything else that's already high, so gas and trying to get someplace isn't helping."
"I'm not happy about it," said Justin Knoll of Zanesville. "I deliver pizzas for a living in this thing, so it makes it real hard."
According to www.OhioGasPrices.com, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded in the Buckeye State is $3.89. That's nearly 25 cents higher than the national average.