Northern Nevadans Staying Put For The Fourth

By: Daniel Chanin Email
By: Daniel Chanin Email

High gas prices and a sagging economy are forcing Northern Nevadans to pull the plug on traditional getaways this weekend and spend the holiday at home.

Barbara Bennett Park should be extra packed Friday afternoon, and if you're planning on checking out "Star Spangled Sparks" in the evening, you might want to get there early, because you'll more than likely have plenty of company.

"A gallon of gas is over $4 right now," says Jeremy Wiederhold who was spending the day at Barbara Bennett Park with his family. "No one wants to drive 50 miles. That's a tank of gas right there. That's $80. I'd rather stay home and spend $80 on groceries and come down to the river and have fun with the kids."

Wiederhold and his kids were one of hundreds of families who kicked off the holiday weekend at home by enjoying the river.

He says the cost of filling up his SUV alone is reason enough to stay put. And others seem to agree.

"I'm staying put," says Sam Broksher from Reno. "I can't leave town because of high prices on gas."

Just about everyone will admit that times are tough, but some drivers are in a better position to deal with it than others.

Victor Volkoff was filling up in Reno before heading out to the Bay Area. He says he refuses to let high prices at the pump keep him in town.

"It cost a little bit more to go someplace," says Volkoff. "But people gotta move, so you gotta do what you gotta do."

With gas prices in Reno more than a dollar higher than last year at this time, other people with families say even short day trips to see the lake or go camping are simply too pricey for their budgets. And while they'd like to go somewhere else ideally, the reality is that they can't.

"I'd like to be camping more so, but it is what it is," says Wiederhold.

"I like the shows up in Tahoe better, but it's just too expensive," says Broksher.

If you're one of the many people who will be staying in town for the fourth, the fireworks portion of Star Spangled Sparks will begin at 9:30 on Friday night.


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