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July 4th Landing On Wednesday Causing Headaches

MIAMI (CBSMiami/Herald) –Florida gas prices are averaging their lowest prices this year, at $3.19 a gallon and while it's not throwing many travel plans off, it's making for a slower work-week

The holiday lands on a Wednesday this year and that's left many normal travelers with their annual plans thrown off schedule.

The midweek holiday caused a split-effect that has seen some people scheduled off the beginning of the week; while others opted to take off the end of the week.

That's causing headaches for businesses across South Florida and the nation as they try to manage competing schedules of workers.

At the South Beach Starlite Hotel on South Beach, owner Mark Muhlrad said the weekend before the holiday was packed and after the holiday is booked solid.

"It's very quiet with July 4th on a Wednesday; and we kind of anticipated this being very slow," Muhlrad said.

New York tourist Nakia Roberts said she and her friends wanted to avoid the crowds, so they came before the holiday. So far, Roberts, and fellow New Yorker John Mercado said the crowds haven't been that bad.

"I think its because this year, they don't let you walk around and drink on the streets," Mercado said. "It's not too crowded and it's nice."

According to CBS4's news partner The Miami Herald, the mid-week holiday has resulted in 54 percent of people with travel plans intending to start the trip before the holiday week began.

Still, not everyone is hurting from the split week.

The National Retail Federation said grocery stores could see a boost as more than 160 million people plan to spend the holiday at a cookout or picnic.

Additionally, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau said summer tourism is on pace to break the record set back in 2010.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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