On The Road To Sandusky, Ohio —
Good morning from I-80 in western Pennsylvania. After one tank of gas and 364 miles on Monday, we have just filled up in Clarion, Penn. We paid $2.55 a gallon today for regular gas. Compare that to $2.79 we paid yesterday in New York City — $.24 a gallon cheaper! Some of the difference is state taxes. Some of it is regional competition. Some of it is supply and demand.
We are on our way to Sandusky, Ohio and the Cedar Point Amusement Park, the nation's second oldest. Cedar Point's attendance is down this summer, which almost never happens. Their research suggests concern about gas prices is partially responsible, so management's cutting the price of admission.
CBS News producer Mark Hooper was in Sandusky on Monday. He talked with the Mulinix family, which usually spends five days at Cedar Point in the summer, staying in their camper. But the price of gas means this summer the camper stays home — and the family is only spending two days at the park.
Mark also met another man that usually drives his family to the park in a motor home. The Kriebels, from Philadelphia, are wondering if that kind of vacation is history. Barry Kriebel figures it'll cost $350 just in gas to get back and forth. In fact, he's wondering if it's time to sell the motor home altogether.
Producer Mike "Magellan" Solmsen and I are also heading to a marina close to Sandusky. There we'll meet a man named Carl Wolf at the Battery Park Marina. His gas sales are OK mostly because he makes a point of having the lowest prices within 20 miles — so he's not making much of anything at all on the gas. Wolf is noticing a lot of weekend cancellations for boating trips — and a lot of marina regulars just not going out at all.
Anyway, 429 miles down, 2,500 miles or so to go. We'll check back soon.