Just in case anyone thinks we've quit paying attention to the gas prices in town, rest assured that we are still keeping track of the price of gas in our area.
We still feature the gas gauge in the newspaper once a week and we also monitor the online Gas Buddy on a regular basis. What we have found is that for several months the Marquette area gas stations have been very competitive on prices. In most cases we have found Marquette to have the lowest gas prices of the four major U.P. cities. Marquette has consistently been lower than Escanaba, Houghton and Iron Mountain. It seems like Iron Mountain has become the new "leader," with the highest gas prices among the four cities.
We have noticed that not only are Marquette gas stations more competitive than they used to be, they are also becoming more independent with their pricing. We are seeing a price variation from station to station, which is refreshing. For several years, almost all Marquette area gas stations charged the same price. It now seems like gas station owners are pricing the gas they are selling based on what they paid for the tankers that deliver the gas. Sometimes prices in our area vary by as much as 10 cents to 15 cents per gallon.
We realize that gas is still going up and down on a daily basis without us being able to figure out why. It goes up one day by 10 cents to 20 cents per gallon and then down another by a similar amount. Even though we have to live with these large swings we are still appreciative that Marquette is no longer the high price leader in the state of Michigan or even among the four major cities in the U.P.
People who are make trips to Wisconsin and other states now call us and tell us that Marquette had the lowest price of gas of any cities along their travel routes. This is a total turnaround from a year ago, when Marquette consistently had the highest gas price on their trip.
We want to say thank you to the local gas station owners for being more competitive. Now that Marquette is not getting weekly publicity for having the highest price of gas in the state, we're hopeful lower gas prices will encourage more tourism traffic to our area this year.