Lower gas prices may drive more business to tourist spots

- FILE - Downtown Mystic (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — At the Cove Restaurant in Mystic you can hear and smell the sizzle of summer as the cook prepares a whole belly clam dinner.

The unofficial end to the season comes this weekend and with the Labor Day holiday just days away gas prices continue to drop which raises hope for the Cove’s Bob Gilmore.

“We’re hoping to see more people,” Gilmore says.

Even though the prices at most Mystic pumps are still higher than some visitors expected AAA says the average price of gas in Connecticut is $2.59 a gallon.

“Before I left Jersey it was $1.99,” says John Matos.

The Connecticut price while higher than that is eight cents less than it was last week, 24 cents less than last month, and $1.14 less than it was this time last year.

“When you’re on a fixed income you take advantage of whatever you can,” says Lise Cropfeld who is visiting Mystic from South Carolina with her husband, Jerry O’Brien.

“When the gas prices are down, we take advantage of it,” says O’Brien.

“Actually, he’s been wanting to come to Mystic for like five years,” adds Cropfeld.

“I believe that the more the gas prices go down that people travel more and are willing to come shopping,” says Mary-Ellen Main the manager at Catherine M. Clothing in downtown Mystic.

Mystic Country, the eastern regional tourism district, says because Labor Day falls later this year, it doesn’t expect to see as many people traveling more than 500 miles to come to Mystic, even with the lower gas prices.

Local visitors are still expected to make the trip.

“I think it does make a difference that prices are lower,” says Gilmore. “People seem to have a little bit of extra money in their pocket to spend.”

John Matos has big plans for the holiday weekend and it’s not because of the lower gas prices.

“There’s no way I’m going to sit home, especially next weekend,” says Matos. “It’s fishing weekend. So, for me, I don’t care how much gas I spend.”

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