Surging gasoline prices in Southern California and Nevada may not necessarily discourage regional travel plans but may cause some travelers to curtail spending when they arrive at their destination, according to one market observer.
Motorists nationally endured the most expensive Memorial Day weekend gas prices since 2014. California had the highest average price per gallon, $4.17 for regular and $4.48 for premium, as of May 26. Nevada had the country's third-highest price at $3.62 and $4.01, respectively.
Drive-in traffic has been essential to Las Vegas tourism since hotels and casinos started to reopen, but Sergio Avila of AAA Nevada says he doesn't expect the prices to have much of an effect on the city's continued rebound.
"When gas prices start to increase, it doesn't typically deter someone from taking that trip. What ends up happening is they cut corners while on their trip and save while they're on their trip," Avila said. "Maybe they'll go eat at less-expensive restaurants, maybe stay at a more economical hotel and cut corners that way to save instead of scrapping their trip completely because gas prices may be a little higher than what they're used to."
Avila says AAA expects prices to have plateaued on Memorial Day weekend, level off and then start to come down in mid-June in time for Father's Day.