University News

Low Gas Prices Cut Spring Break Expenses in Half

Published: March 06, 2015 | Author: Alex Homer | Category: Academics

Almost everyone is excited about the recent decline in gas prices that has been sweeping the nation. But what does this mean economically in the short and long-term? And maybe more importantly, how does this impact Southern Utah University students’ spring break plans?

“The most obvious effect of lower gas prices is an increase in disposable income for Utah households through savings at the pump,” said Joe Baker, professor of managerial economics at SUU. “The lower cost of filling up will free up money that can be spent on other goods and services. In a sense, we all got a raise and can purchase or save more.”

Baker went on to explain that the lower gas prices will also significantly affect the purchases of large vehicles as many consumers will not be looking to buy the most fuel-efficient cars anymore.

David Tufte, associate professor of economics, answers the question as to why the gas prices have had such a dramatic decrease.

“The high prices over the last decade encouraged producers to invest in horizontal drilling and fracking,” Tufte explained. “But now those investments have led to increased production, so prices drop as everyone tries to sell the extra oil they can now produce readily.”

“We probably ought to go hug an oil worker,” Tufte joked. “We don’t, but maybe we should.”

What all these factors add up to for SUU students is simple: more money to spend on other things during their spring break adventures.

“Now that the gas prices are lower, I have more to spend on my trip rather than just paying for travel,” said Jami Bolhuis, an SUU student from Zeeland, Michigan. “I am hoping to spend only half of what I usually do on travel, so I have more money to spend on a hotel to split the drive into two days.”

Bolhuis is traveling to Texas with her sister for spring break and said the money she will spend on her trip will go much further now with the lower gas prices.

Allowing more students to travel farther than usual, Kyle Birnbrauer is optimizing on this economic shift and states he will be saving big bucks with the lower prices, something that he explained has made him more apt to travel even outside of spring break.

“The lower gas prices have definitely made me more open to making quick trips on the weekends to places like St. George or Las Vegas, just because I know it won’t hurt my wallet, like it did before.”

Birnbrauer, originally from Fallbrook, California, drives a ‘gas guzzler’ with a 22-gallon gas tank stated that he now saves around $40 a tank with the lowered prices.

As for how long prices will be substantially lower, Baker believes it will be for the foreseeable future.

“It should be a good year for the Utah Shakespeare Festival,” Baker joked. 

If you're going on an adventure this spring break, share your adventures with SUU by using #TBirdTravels on Twitter or Instagram



Contact Information:
Jessica Young
435-865-8696
jessicayoung2@suu.edu