How have increased gas prices affected your business in the past year, and have they influenced your plans for the coming year?

District Voices

Published January 1, 2001  | January 2001 issue

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It's affected business, but people are still going to drive. People buy lower grade gasoline. Because of the American's love affair with the automobile, it hasn't impacted sales dramatically. Some people are changing their driving habits, and premium sales are down. ... It hasn't affected any of the business's long-range plans.

Dave Samson, Store Manager
Holiday Station Stores-Helena, Mont.

I wouldn't say our ridership is up a lot. This is probably due to the fuel surcharge we have to place on the tickets, I think that has had some effect. I haven't noticed an extreme shift up or down. ... As far as next year [2001], we haven't really done anything other than trying to cut down on general maintenance by utilizing 25 buses rather than 30.

Brad Hansen, General Manager
Jack Rabbit Charter and Bus Tours-Sioux Falls, S.D.

As the price increases, we pass that on to our customers—they need to fly. It hasn't really affected us too much. We raised the cost for flight training, and the charter department placed a $20 to $25 surcharge for fuel. ... We just go with the flow.

Robert Hamilton, Manager
Valley Aviation-Fargo, ND.

We're spending $5 million more per quarter than last year, so it is really impacting us. ... We're currently accessing a fuel surcharge and we're trying to prepare a leaner and meaner budget for 2001. We're trying to find other ways to trim costs. It's top-of-mind in preparing the coming year's budget.

Tammy Lee, Vice President
Corporate and Public Affairs
Sun Country Airlines-St. Paul, Minn.

It stopped all Toyota sales for one month, in June. SUV [sport utility vehicle] sales have stopped. You couldn't give them away. The smaller, more fuel-efficient cars are selling. ... We'll cut back on SUVs and just order vehicles that are higher on the economy end—more sticks and more 30 mpg type cars.

Mike Siler, Sales Manager
Riverside Toyota-Marquette, Mich.

Our fleet of 20 trucks usually burn 25,000 gallons of diesel each month, which used to cost $20,000 to $25,000 each month. Now it costs about $45,000 each month. Our customers have accepted a temporary fuel surcharge. ... I'm not optimistic about the outlook. It fluctuates so much because of the volatility and the rapid swings; it's hard to predict.

Steve Schilling, President
F.J. Schilling Trucking-Eau Claire, Wis.