Holiday Travel Strong Despite Gas Prices

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With the average price of gas sitting at $4.08 a gallon, holiday travelers say they are feeling the pain at the pump. But many people 11 News spoke to say you can't put a price on having a great 4th of July weekend.

With just three days to go before the 4th of July, many around the Grand Valley say they're looking forward to their big weekend plans.

"He hang out with the fam, swim at my sister's pool and have a good time," said Fruita resident Kat Coughran. "On Saturday, I will go out of town and head up to the mountains."

"We're here for the week, for the holiday to visit family in Grand Junction," said Jesslyn Brown, who drove in from South Dakota.

But what many may not be looking forward to are the record high costs associated with making those plans happen. According to a new AAA report, the average price of a gallon of regular gas in Colorado is up 85 cents compared to last year. The report also says the average cost of filling your tank up is $60, versus $47.25 in 2007.

But local travel experts say those numbers aren't getting in the way of people having a good time this summer.

"People are traveling, they want to go," said Yvonna Claeys, a travel agent with First Class Travel. "It may mean they might not take a trip every year, it may take them longer to save up for it, but they're going."

Even with high gas prices forcing several airlines to increase fares or charge new fees, Claeys says she still has had a steady flow of people booking summer trips.

"It's made it a little more difficult with their different fees," said Claeys. "It's not as pleasant as it was before but people are going in with an open mind and they're getting it done."

For people like Brown and Coughran, getting it done is what it's all about this holiday weekend.

"It's a bit more than it was last year, but it's still worth it to come," said Brown.

"I conserve gas all week long so I can go do things," said Coughran. "I like to get out. I live in Western Colorado and I don't want to just sit at home all bummed out because gas is high."

According to AAA, 40.45 million Americans will travel for the 4th of July weekend. It says that's only a slight drop from the 41 million who traveled last year.

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