Gas price hikes may help local businesses

South Shore restaurants think Cape Cod may be too far
63 miles ($9) from Tony's Clam Shop to Alberto's Ristorante

A story in today's Patriot Ledger touts the advantage to local business in the South Shore and Plymouth area because drivers may stay closer to home this summer now that gas is over $3 a gallon.

The story in The Ledger paints this rosy picture for local businesses;

quincyhyannismapSome see silver lining in gas costs:
Area merchants are banking on many South Shore residents staying close to home this summer


The monetary pain motorists are feeling at the gasoline pumps could bring financial gain for some South Shore merchants.

With prices approaching $3 a gallon and the summer vacation season approaching, some merchants believe many people will forgo the long drives and stay closer to home...

Bill Catania, president of the John Carver Inn in Plymouth, agrees. ‘‘You might lose some tourists, but there are those who live closer and who might not want to go as far. They could offset each other a little bit.’’

It is 30 miles from Plymouth to Hyannis. The driver here would cost the average driver $4.50 if his or her car averaged 21 miles to the gallon. That's a $1.20 increase over the cost a year ago today.

The Ledger's circulation centers on its base in Quincy, and restaurants there also believe that local residents will not be willing to drive the 30 miles from that city to Cape Cod.

The story quotes a clam shack owner on Wollaston Beach in Quincy,

Roy Kandalaft, co-owner of Tony’s Clam Shop on Wollaston Beach in Quincy, said higher gasoline prices could help his seasonal business, which is open from April to November. He said some customers have already told him that they would be returning to Tony’s more frequently this summer instead of taking a leisurely drive elsewhere for seafood.

‘‘People are going to be more careful,’’ Kandalaft said. ‘‘Seafood is a very high quality meal and pricey.’’

wollastonwaterAccording to AAA and MapQuest it is a 63 mile drive from Tony's to Alberto's Ristorante on Main Street in Hyannis.

The drive here would cost the average driver $9 if his or her car averaged 21 miles to the gallon. That's a $2.50 increase over the cost a year ago today. According to the Massachusetts Water Resources Agency (MWRA) Wollaston Beach in Quincy is one of the most contaminated beaches in Boston Harbor ( see chart on right)  and has eight storm drains which discharge along its shoreline.

Cape Cod benefits from higher gas prices and recessions 

Most Cape Cod businesses think the South Shore residents will thinks that's a low price for this peninsular paradise. 

Historically vacation destinations like Cape Cod, which is within a one-day drive of over 60% of the US population, do better when gas prices surge. Even in 1973 when OPEC stopped the oil, the cape felt not a flutter, and in all recent recessions when vacationers tried to save money, they opted for places llike the cape rather than taking a plane to a further destination at higher cost.

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