The cheapest gasoline in Steamboat Springs on Thursday was at opposite ends of town on U.S. Highway 40.
On the far west side, the Fuel Stop was charging $1.769 for unleaded regular, and on the south side of town, Shop 'n' Hop came in with a price of $1.779. Both prices were above the new record national average price for gasoline of $1.749, but lower than what motorists were paying close to the base of the Steamboat Ski Area. An informal survey of gas prices in Steamboat showed Mount Werner Sinclair, at $1.899, led the pack.
"I hate it. I can't stand it," Chad Bates said Thursday afternoon while filling up his SUV and heading home to Salt Lake City.
Bates said he and his family were in the habit of taking a road trip every weekend before gas prices started climbing again a couple of months ago. Now, they have cut back to a trip every other weekend.
"It's taking me $30 to fill it up. It used to be $22 to $23. I think it has gone up 18 cents (a gallon) in two weeks."
AAA reported Wednesday that Colorado's statewide average for regular, self-serve, unleaded gasoline climbed another 2.5 cents this week to $1.719 per gallon. This is the highest statewide average since September 3, 2003, when the average price for regular, self-serve, unleaded gasoline topped out at $1.731 per gallon. Metro Denver's average for regular, self-serve, unleaded gasoline is up 1.2 cents to $1.676 cents per gallon.
Craig Baumgartner of Denver said he was expecting gasoline to cost him more when he arrived in Steamboat, but the price set him back a bit. Baumgartner had his family along for a weekend snowmobiling trip in his Dodge Ram diesel pickup. The truck was pulling a trailer loaded with two adult-size snowmobiles and a junior-size sled.
Baumgartner said his family is becoming more conscious of saving fuel and reducing vehicle trips. But even if gas goes above $2 a gallon, he won't eliminate recreational trips.
Steamboat motorists often find discounts tailored to frequent customers by locally owned stations. Those aside, Kum & Go had one of the best prices between downtown and the mountain at $1.789. Ski Haus was at $1.869 and U.S. 40 Sinclair posted a price of $1.859.
On Lincoln Avenue, Space Station's distinctive sign promoted regular at $1.829 and Bob's Conoco was $1.839. The 7-Eleven store was among the lowest at $1.789. Motorists who didn't want to cross U.S. 40 from the south side of the highway to save a penny a gallon at 7-Eleven could fill up at On the Way convenience store for $1.799.
Vail's average gas price of $2.039 remains the highest among reporting cities in Colorado, according to AAA. The price of gas in Vail climbed 6 cents this week. Grand Junction also saw a steep climb of 5.1 cents. The last time Vail's average price was more than $2 a gallon was during the week of Sept. 3, 2003, when its average price was $2.019 per gallon.
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