Just for a comparison, a one week round trip from Interlaken, N.J. with some touring while here would be about 1000 miles. At an average of 18 mpg at $3 per gallon the trip would cost $166. At $4 per gallon it would increase to $222. A hybrid averaging 45 mpg would cost from $66 to $88. Even though driving a more fuel efficient car would drastically reduce travel costs, gassing up the old family truckster for $222 vs. $166 isnt going to make travelers cancel their summer vacation. Visitors will probably decide to cut back on spending money in other areas by not having that second glass of wine with dinner or thinking twice about retail purchases, but we dont think the higher gas prices will stop them from coming.
Another thing that has traditionally been thought of as a drawback for our areaour lack of consistent commercial air servicemay actually be an advantage. A recent report from USA Today said that airlines scored lower than the IRS in customer satisfaction. Record levels of lost luggage and delays seem to be behind the decrease in customer satisfaction. Spending a little extra on fuel costs for driving to your destination doesnt seem so bad when faced with the inconveniences of flying.
So while we dont know for sure how this summers travel season will pan out, we predict that area businesses dont have anything to worry about. Visitors will still come to the Adirondacks for the same reasons they always do: rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. And besides, what would a summer vacation be without a road trip? Getting here is half the fun.