Ashland Tourism Hurt By Gas Prices?

, Written by Craig Smullin, Posted: Thu, March 1 2012 at 4:21 PM, Updated: Thu, March 1 2012 at 4:35 PM

Gas prices just keep on climbing, now 13-cents higher that they were a week ago.
    The pain at the pump could affect summer tourism, which could create serious headaches in Ashland.
   "I'm keeping my fingers crossed."
    Business owner Beasy McMillan has been involved in Ashland restaurants for nearly 30 years... and he knows how important the summer season is to Ashland.
    "We get 70% of our business between May and July... I mean September."
    McMillan says suppliers are already adding 6 to 15-dollar gas surcharges on their deliveries... that cost will likely be passed on to the customer.
    "It can't be good for business. What it'll mean is... whoa... that thing you don't like to say, which is higher prices in the restaurant."
   The majority of Ashland's tourists come from the San Francisco Bay Area... a 5 to 6 hour drive away.
  "If we lose our business from San Francisco than we're in trouble."
    Ashland Springs Hotel General Manager Don Anway agrees, 70% of their business comes from the Bay Area.
    "It's a huge percentage of our business."
    While Anway says he's always concerned about skyrocketing gas prices, he says Ashland is a desirable destination that people will flock to.
    "People are still gonna vacation, they're still going to take a weekend getaway even with gas prices rising."
    But those gas prices, which are now 35-cents higher than they were at this time last year... will  hurt businesses.
    "The key is we're gonna see less spending whether it's in the restaurant or the spa."
    And that's something nobody wants to see.

About the Author

Craig Smullin

Craig Smullin co-anchors NBC5 News at 6 and hosts the 5 on 5 Feature Interview on NBC5 News at 5. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Craig graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California with a degree in Recreation Administration and Sports Management.

Since joining NBC5 News in 2005, Craig has performed virtually every job in the newsroom: News and Sports Reporter, Sports Anchor, Producer, series and segment Host and Anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and NBC5 News at 5. When he's not reporting news, Craig spends time with his wife, young son and two dogs. He is a dedicated fan of the San Francisco 49ers and Portland Trailblazers and loves snow boarding the slopes of Mt. Ashland.

Catch Craig co-anchoring with Natalie Hurd weekdays on NBC 5 News at 6pm.

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