High gas prices loom over Memorial Day weekend plans

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Memorial Day is one week away and AAA says more than 35 million Americans will hit the roads starting this Friday, but rising gas prices are forcing many to stay closer to home this year.

From car to boat owners News10NBC’s talked to folks to hear how much of a pinch they’re feeling at the pump.

AAA reports gas prices have risen 18 cents in a week here in the Rochester area, but prices do get worse depending on what you own.

"It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe gas is this high," said Rick Parrota as he was putting air in his tires.

Sticker shock at the pump days before the start of the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend. Gas prices are reaching a record $5 mark.

"I was going to go to New York City," Parrota said. "I said no can do. so I mean it’s almost $5 bucks a gallon. I’ve never ever seen it close to that."

AAA said the rise in gas prices during this time of year is typical as refineries switch to the summer blend of gasoline and that geopolitical issues around the world are also to blame. We asked regional Communications Specialist Valerie Puma where are things headed for now.

"We’ve been seeing record high prices every single day since May 10, and we don’t really expect to see much relief at the pump before the holiday weekend, and possibly even immediately after. It might be a while before we see some relief at the pump," Puma said.

If you think $5 at the pump is high, it gets even worse at the marinas. Fuel for boats is practically $7 a gallon. Rick Moll runs a charter boat and right now has no plans to hit the water this weekend unless a group pays to charter his boat for fishing.

"Myself and all the other captains are feeling the hit of those gas prices this year, and unfortunately you know we’re going to have to probably pass that on to our customers," Moll said.

Fellow yacht owner Allen Ryan has a 400-gallon tank on his vessel. High prices will not deter him from going out in the open water. For now, he’ll stick to shorter trips.

"I fill up at the end of the season so I got better prices last year, and I carry enough fuel to carry me through the whole season," said Ryan.

Then there are some boat owners, well money is no object to them. Mark Murray spent more than $4,200 for 600 gallons of diesel fuel for his yacht named "Freedom."

"I’ve worked a long life, and I can tolerate it, but you know for the common man it’s difficult," Murray said.

Last month the Monroe County Legislature voted to suspend a portion of the county’s Gas Tax starting June 1. That will save you 8 cents a gallon locally, plus 16 cents from the State, for a total of 24 cents in savings through the end of the year.