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Grand Junction City Market grocery stores low on gas

Such supply issues are temporary and isolated, says AAA
City Market gas stations in Grand Junction have been low on fuel.
City Market gas stations in Grand Junction have been low on fuel.(KKCO/KJCT)
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 8:53 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Some City Market grocery stores in Mesa County are running low on gas ahead of the Fourth of July weekend. That could be trouble for people hitting the road over the next couple of days.

The American Automobile Association expects near-record numbers of travelers hitting the road this holiday weekend. According to AAA, the low supplies at various gas stations here and across the country are related to the economy emerging from its pandemic lows. Labor shortages with petroleum truck drivers, for example, have made it harder for the gas supplies available to get to stations.

According to AAA spokesman J. Skyler McKinley, “There is not a gas shortage. There is plenty of gas in the American fuel ecosystem, there’s plenty of gas in Colorado, and it’s getting to where it needs to go, it’s just not getting there fast enough to meet surging demand related to our emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s also a few labor shortage issues when it comes to people who are qualified to drive petroleum tankers, so it’s that last mile where it’s not getting to your service station.”

Some City Market gas stations in Grand Junction have tags on the pumps reading “Premium Only” or “Premium and Diesel Only.” Some pumps are entirely out. AAA says that these supply issues are sporadic and isolated for the most part. One City Market employee expects more gas to arrive soon. This comes as Colorado is a top travel destination this time of year. Demand for car rentals and hotels in the state is up as travelers arrive in Denver and scatter across the Centennial State.

McKinley explained that, “Denver is number one in our database because that’s where people are flying into and perhaps booking a hotel stay briefly, but generally folks aren’t coming to Denver just to see Denver. They’re coming to Denver to see Colorado. So they’re hopping on rental cars, on busses, they’re driving their own cars out, and heading to the parts of the state that are really worth seeing, including the Western Slope.”

On top of these factors, gas prices are their most expensive since 2014, according to AAA. The national average sits at $3.01, while Colorado’s reaches $3.31. One Grand Junction resident who moved to the area recently said those higher prices made an impact on his moving costs.

Trevor Welker noted that, “moving here in the last month, it did affect my travel expenses getting up here, which I noticed, but I’m here, and I’m happy, so whatever happens, happens.”

A lot of motorists in Colorado might be experiencing those higher prices themselves this weekend if they haven’t already. AAA expects over 90% of July Fourth travel to be by car. Major metro areas throughout the nation are also expected to see increased delays this weekend.

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