Gas prices increased a few cents for Memorial Day weekend, averaging to about $3.50 at some gas stations here in Wichita Falls. However, that did not stop Texomans from traveling. Texomans are saying despite gas prices being high, they still make traveling a possibility and are grateful prices are not as high as other states averaging more than $4.00 dollars a gallon.
Some residents and tourists are staying in town this holiday going to the mall, water park, and movies. The Guthrie family is here from Oklahoma City enjoying the holiday. Dean Guthrie says, "We're down from Oklahoma City, and we're just hanging out in Wichita Falls; just seeing everything and coming to the mall and hanging out."
When asked how gas prices are affecting their vacation, Guthrie said, "I think definitely the more south that we came, the gas prices came up a little bit. But I don't think that really determines whether or not you're going to get out. Everybody is going to get out. And I don't really think the gas prices will affect people's decisions to get out and have fun on Memorial Day."
Other families agree. The Kent family is from Levelland, Texas and drove to Ardmore, Oklahoma for the holiday. They stopped in Wichita Falls Sikes Senter Mall today on their way back home from their 700 mile road trip. Texoma Resident Keith Kent says, "They're really not a factor. It's just we do this for our kids, and whatever we need to do."
Wichita Falls Resident Erick Ruiz says he has an app on his phone he uses to compare gas prices in and out of town. He says he travels frequently to Dallas. Ruiz says, "Usually they are a lot cheaper than what they are in Dallas, which is kind of surprising. I'll fill up here rather than go to Dallas and put gas there. So I'll make sure to have a full tank before I head out anywhere."
He says it would be nice for prices to drop more, but they are pretty reasonable here when comparing to other cities. Ruiz also says compared to other gas prices in the nation, they are $0.45 to $0.50 cents cheaper here. He says as long as they remain under $4.00 dollars, he feels we should be alright.
Wichita Falls student Caitlin Hartman says she doesn't like paying $3.50 a gallon. But looking at the positives she says her economics professor told her gas prices rising is a sign the economy is flourishing.