Tag Archives: travel

Gas prices remain low for Thanksgiving travel

b0013469343-999094Drivers headed out of town for the holiday will pay a tad more for a tank of gas this year than they did last Thanksgiving.

A gallon of regular gasoline was selling for an average of $2.58 in Kitsap County on Monday, according to AAA. That was up slightly from an average of $2.46 on the same day of 2015.

Nationally, gas prices are still much lower this fall than they were just a couple of years ago:

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Gas tends to cost less this time of year and an abundance of crude oil on the global market is helping keep retail prices in check.

AAA projects 43.5 million Americans will take road trips for Thanksgiving this week.

Travelocity names Kitsap a top 10 destination for beer tourism

brew2_21667175_ver1-0_640_480Kitsap County ranks among of the best destinations in the country for a “beercation,” according to one major travel website.

Travelocity recently released a beer tourism index to assess what areas of the nation are best suited for beer-centric travel.

The index ranks metro areas based on the number of breweries in the area, the availability of rideshare services, air accessibility and the cost of lodging.

Kitsap County (listed as Bremerton-Silverdale) landed at No. 10 on Travelocity’s list of top beer destinations in the small metro area category:

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It’s not a big surprise Kitsap would make this list, considering more than a dozen craft breweries are in business across the county.

Groups like Visit Kitsap Peninsula are already marketing West Sound as a “hops-lover’s heaven.”

Kitsap hotels doing brisk business this spring

casinoresortopen03_18446453_ver1.0_640_4802015 was a very good year for Kitsap County hoteliers. 2016 is looking even better.

Kitsap posted the largest percentage increase in lodging revenues among major Washington counties this spring, according to a market survey by Smith Travel Reports made available by Visit Kitsap Peninsula.

Revenue was up nearly 30 percent, a change of about $2 million, January through April this year, compared with the first four months of 2015. Demand for lodging (the total number of room sold) was up 18 percent.

casinoresortopen02_18446452_ver1.0_640_480Visit Kitsap Executive Director Patty Graf-Hoke said the jump in revenue was partially driven by hotels raising room rates.

Hotels charged an average daily rate of $93 in April, up from $84 in April 2015.

Federal employees and contractors fill many Kitsap hotel rooms, particularly in the Bremerton area. The federal per-diem for lodging is currently $89.

But Graf-Hoke said hotels have enjoyed a recent influx of tourists, as well as construction workers employed at large developments in the county.

“The hoteliers are having the ability to charge higher room rates because of an increase in leisure travel,” Graf-Hoke said.

Gas prices may finally be creeping up

Just when it seemed gas prices couldn’t get any lower … they didn’t

The price of gasoline has begun to edge up nationally and locally, according to AAA Fuel Gauge, which tracks such things.

The average price for a gallon of regular  in Kitsap was $2.014 per gallon Monday, up just a hair from a week ago when it was $1.995.

Filling up was still cheaper than a year ago, when the average price was $2.788.

Nationally, the average price of gas has been under $2 for most the year, but is now climbing.

AAA noted price swings are typical this time of year as refineries conduct maintenance. The association predicts generous supplies of gasoline and low crude oil cost will keep prices from climbing as high as in previous years.

2013-2016_Avg Gas Prices 2-29-16

At $2.03 per gallon, Washington is one of only four states in the country where the average price of gas is more than $2.

Thanksgiving road trips will be cheaper this year

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About 42 million Americans will hit the road for Thanksgiving this week, and those drivers will enjoy the cheapest gas prices in seven years.

According to AAA, Thanksgiving fuel prices will be at their lowest since 2008.

The nationwide average price for a gallon of gas was $2.10 on Friday. In Washington it was $2.49.

In Kitsap, the average price for a gallon of regular hovered around $2.45. That was 55 cents cheaper than on the same day a year ago (an 18 percent decline).

Diesel took an even more impressive dive in the past year dropping from $3.66 per gallon to $2.76 per gallon, a 25 percent drop.

With prices dropping steadily this month, AAA predicts the national per-gallon average will reach $2 before Christmas, a low not seen since 2009. The global petroleum supply continues to outpace demand, helping drive prices lower.

 

As for holiday travel, AAA forecasts a 46.9 million people will leave home for Thanksgiving this year, 300,000 more than last year. There will still  be fewer people traveling for Thanksgiving than before the economic recession (50.6 million in 2007 was the high).

The vast majority of holiday travelers — nearly 90 percent — will drive, but there’s also some good news for those who fly. Airfares will be 10 percent lower than a year ago. Passengers flying one of the 40 domestic routes will pay around $169 for a round trip.

You can see a slick AAA travel graphic here.

Larry Steagall photo

Kitsap hotels enjoying spike in demand

PoulsboInn_22326865_ver1.0_640_480Kitsap County’s lodging industry has enjoyed double-digit increases in demand and revenue this year, according to a report from an industry analyst.

Through August, demand for hotel rooms was up 14.3 percent from 2014 while revenue increased by 17.5 percent.

Kitsap posted the highest growth in hotel demand of any county in Washington, according to the report from Smith Travel Research, Inc., and summarized in a Visit Kitsap Peninsula news release.

CasinoResortOpen03_18446453_ver1.0_640_480Visit Kitsap Executive Director Patty Graf-Hoke attributed the spike in hotel demand to marketing efforts aimed at attracting more tourists and reducing the county’s dependence on government-related travel.

“We have positioned ourselves in the sweet spot between the Olympic Peninsula and the bright lights of the city,” Graf-Hoke said in the release.

Regional ad campaigns have highlighted Kitsap’s natural setting and recreational opportunities, including its nationally-designated water trails system.

“We have strengthened our message,” County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido said in the release “… I really look at it as us capitalizing on who we are and where we are.”

My compatriot Tim Kelly with Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal recently took a closer look at how hotels are benefiting from the county’s tourist boom. You can read his June story here.

Gas prices on the rise; still lower than 2014

GasPrices03_9030952_ver1.0_640_480It was good while it lasted.

The $2 a gallon gas we enjoyed this winter is already in the rearview mirror, and AAA expects fuel prices to keep climbing through March. 

The average price of regular gasoline in the Bremerton area was $2.95 Friday, up from $2.38 in mid-February.

Regular was selling for $2.67 a gallon in Suquamish this week, according to Gas Buddy. The Silverdale Costco had regular for $2.73.

It could be a lot worse. According to AAA, Kitsap drivers were paying $3.60 for regular this time last year.

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Via aaa.com

A refinery explosion and labor strike in California have contributed to a rapid rise in prices along the west coast in the past month.

AAA notes crude oil prices started to rise in January. This is also the time of year when refineries slow down for maintenance, dropping the national supply.

While trending up, price increases have been halting this year, and the crude oil market remains volatile.