The regional boating industry could take a dive this summer

High gas prices aren't just hitting drivers on the road, they're also affecting boat owners.
The Regional Boating Industry Could Take A Dive This Summer
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GROVE, Okla. – High gas prices aren’t just hitting drivers on the road, they’re also affecting boat owners.

Grand Lake is known for its tourism, especially in the summer. More people head to the lake to cool down, play and fish.

But with high fuel prices, some folks may think twice. David Hale owns Honey Creek Outdoors in Grove. He says recently, fisherman and boat owners have been feeling the pinch at the pump.

“I have seen that the boat numbers and tournaments are down a little bit already this year,” Hale said. 

Despite Grand Lake being home to many fishing tournaments, Hale says he’s already seen the effects these gas prices can have.

“A  couple of our big trails that normally run 280 to 300 boats is down around the 250 boat deal now. So it is and is going to have an impact on the whole economy here I think before the year is over.” 

Hale says he hears from boat owners dealing with the increase, stressed about how high prices are climbing. 

“Every fisherman comes in here. ‘Oh, I got to go put $200 in my boat’, where last year it took them $100 to fill their boat up…they all complain about it, and rightfully so. I  mean, it’s something they really enjoy doing,  now it’s costing them a whole lot more money to do it.”

The high gas prices don’t just affect those who drive and own boats, but also the town of Grove itself, which relies on boating for tourism.

“We have concerns,” said Donnie Crain, President of the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce. “Obviously, every dollar that people are having to spend because of inflation or higher prices, that’s less money that they can use for wherever they’re traveling and visiting.”

Crain says he hopes that amid this surge in prices, grove and four state residents will use the opportunity to support locally. 

“We’re definitely watching the prices of gas and inflation, but we’re hopeful that people can still take advantage of the lake and be able to enjoy themselves even when they’re their budgets might be a little bit tight.”

Gas Price Averages in the 4-States as of April 20, 2022

The following are average gas prices for Regular grade according to AAA.

  • Kansas: $3.76
    • Month Ago Avg: $3.77
    • Year Ago Avg: $2.69
  • Oklahoma: $3.78
    • Month Ago Avg: $3.79
    • Year Ago Avg: $2.64
  • Arkansas: $3.73
    • Month Ago Avg: $3.83
    • Year Ago Avg: $2.68
  • Missouri: $3.75
    • Month Ago Avg: $3.76
    • Year Ago Avg: $2.64

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