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Falling gas prices help businesses driven by fuel | News

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Falling gas prices help businesses driven by fuel
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(WBIR) Gas prices continue to plummet and some East Tennessee businesses driven by fuel are welcoming the change of pace.

According to GasBuddy, Tennessee's average cost for gas is $2.06 per gallon. Prices at some gas stations in East Tennessee have dipped below the $2 mark.

The Track in Pigeon Forge runs on fuel.

"We use quite a bit of fuel in the course of a year," said Carl Cook, personnel director & marketing director for The Track.

10News interviewed The Track in April 2008, when gas prices reached an average $3.38 per gallon. At the time, workers were turning idling engines off to save gas.

Now, Cook says they are planning to take advantage of the cheaper prices when buying in bulk.

"At times we can purchase 1,000 gallons so you're looking at quite a bit of savings when it drops," Cook said.

10News also spoke to Scenic Helicopter Tours that same day in April 2008, when businesses were feeling the effects of higher gas prices.

"We are just hoping it levels out or goes back down," said owner Dan Haynes, at the time. During that time, jet fuel was priced around $5 per gallon.

According to Haynes, it's probably somewhere around $4.50 per gallon right now. He said, "But it got up to almost $7 a gallon back in the summer, last summer, so it's not cheap."

One helicopter can burn through up to 150 gallons per day.

Haynes said his company has not been impacted by the current prices because they buy in advance and in bulk.

"We have a lot of fixed expenses anyway. The operation of a helicopter is extremely expensive. Gas is just a part of that... So the next time we buy our bulk fuel, we'll see what the prices are then," he said.

But cheaper gas means more pocket change for tourists.

"I guess people have a more disposable income. They can spend more money... when they come into town. So like, go for a helicopter ride," Haynes said.

According to AAA, the average cost could drop another $0.10 before the end of the month. The last time, on average, a gallon of gas was in the $1.50 range was May 2000.


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