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06/29/2022

Sheetz Offers Gas Price Break as Holiday Motorists Expected to Hit 42M

The convenience retailer drops prices below $4 through July 4.
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A Sheetz convenience store at night

ALTOONA, Pa. — Sheetz Inc. is rolling back the prices at the pump for Independence Day.

The convenience store operator is reducing the price of fuel to $3.99 a gallon for Unleaded 88 and $3.49 a gallon for E85. This is a limited-time offer that will be available through the Fourth of July holiday travel season.

Unleaded 88 is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for use in vehicles for model years 2001 or newer as well as light-duty trucks, SUVs and flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). E85 contains more ethanol and is not compatible with all vehicles. It is designed specifically for FFVs, which can use regular gasoline (E10), E15 or E85, according to the retailer.

Altoona-based Sheetz operates more than 640 store locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.

The price break comes as AAA forecasts 42 million motorists will hit the road this holiday weekend. That's a new record, according to the organization, despite high gas prices.

In total, AAA predicts 47.9 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home from June 30 through July 4. This is an increase of 3.7 percent over 2021, bringing travel volumes just shy of those seen in 2019.

"The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear," said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. "Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase and it's not tapering off. People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much needed vacation."

Despite the national average gas price hovering around the $5 mark, more travelers may choose to travel by car as air travel has been plagued by cancellations and delays over the past few weeks. In fact, the share of people traveling by air will be the lowest since 2011, AAA predicted.

Broken out by mode of transportation, AAA's forecast comprises:

  • Car: 42 million
  • Air: 3.55 million
  • Bus/train/cruise: 2.42 million

According to AAA booking data, big cities and international classics are top destinations for Independence Day 2022. Bookings for air, car rentals, cruise, hotel, and tours are up 60 percent over last year for the top domestic destinations and up 252 percent for international.

The top U.S. destinations are:

  1. Orlando, Fla.
  2. Seattle
  3. New York
  4. Anaheim, Calif.
  5. Anchorage, Alaska
  6. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  7. Las Vegas
  8. Honolulu
  9. Denver
  10. Chicago

As Independence Day travel is expected to be the second busiest since 2000, AAA said the worst times to travel are from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 30, noon to 9 p.m. on July 1, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on July 2.

"Even with gas hitting record prices, travelers are still eager to hit the road this summer. We expect nationwide travel times to increase about 50 percent compared to normal. Drivers around major metro areas must be prepared for significantly more delays," said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst, INRIX. "Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. Our advice is to avoid traveling on Thursday and Friday afternoon."