The Bottom LIne: Drivers head for open road despite high gas prices - East Valley Tribune: Business

The Bottom LIne: Drivers head for open road despite high gas prices

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Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2004 7:12 am | Updated: 4:29 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Record-high gas prices won’t keep drivers from heading out on the road over Memorial Day weekend, AAA Arizona said Tuesday.

Eighty-four percent of Americans will travel by automobile over the holiday, AAA predicted.

Many drivers will pay the higher gas prices and look for other ways to save money, AAA said.

The greatest number of Memorial Day automobile and air travelers will be in the West, which traditionally leads other areas of the country in holiday travel.

Gas prices are generally higher in the West.

"Driving to vacation destinations will cost a little more this year, but the overall cost hasn’t changed much. Fuel only makes up about 8 percent of total vacation costs," said David Cowley, AAA public affairs manager.

Lodging and dining costs are about 4 percent lower than last year, which should help offset higher gas prices, he said.

A recent AAA survey shows that a family of two adults and two children can expect to pay an average of $235 per day for food and lodging.

Cowley said gas makes up only a small fraction of total vacation costs.

For example, gasoline costs for an 800-mile summer trip in a typical minivan getting 20 miles per gallon would be about $20 higher than last year, he said.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR

An arbitration panel has ruled that the Fund for Animals can keep its Web site NeimanCarcass.com as a way to protest Neiman Marcus department store.

The site was established to protest the retailer’s cruel and unnecessary sale of fur, the Fund for Animals said.

Although parody and satire are protected forms of speech, Neiman Marcus, which has a store at Scottsdale Fashion Square, argued in a complaint the site is "confusingly similar" to its name and business.

"It is unreasonable to believe that a reasonable consumer would be confused as to what the website is about or whether it is owned, sponsored or affiliated with Neiman Marcus," retired Judge

Charles K. McCotter Jr.

wrote in his decision on behalf of the National Arbitration Forum.

BOTTOMS UP

In a June 27, 2000, edition of The New York Times, then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush said that if he were president, he would bring down gasoline prices through sheer force of personality, by creating enough political goodwill with oil-producing nations that they would increase their supply of crude.

"I would work with our friends in OPEC to convince them to open up the spigot, to increase the supply," Bush told the Times.

"Use the capital that my administration will earn, with the Kuwaitis or the Saudis, and convince them to open up the spigot."

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