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Gas prices rise in time for holiday weekend

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

AAA predicts more than a million Michiganders will be on the roads this holiday weekend, and paying a lot more at the pump.

Gasbuddy.com pegs the statewide average price for a gallon of gasoline at about $3.15.  That’s more than a half dollar more than last Memorial Day weekend.

Don Holecek is a professor emeritus at Michigan State University.  He’s studied tourism trends for four decades.

He doesn’t expect high gas prices will deter many Michiganders from driving this summer.

“People will talk about it, complain about it, but it won’t stop them from going,” says Holecek.

To put the rising gas prices into prospective, Holecek says a 600 mile long weekend trip from Detroit to Mackinaw City would cost an average driver an extra $12 for gasoline. 

Holecek says weather plays a bigger role in people’s travel plans than gas prices.

AAA-Michigan spokesman Gary Bubar says gasoline prices rarely figure in people’s travel plans.

“Going back 8 or 10 years, when gas was over $4 a gallon, it really didn’t change folks who were going on vacation,” says Bubar.

Where you go matters when it comes to gas prices.

The highest pump prices can be found in Mackinaw City.  While just across the bridge, the Upper Peninsula has some of the lowest gas prices in the state.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.