Ashland Tourism Hurt By Gas Prices?

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.

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