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Gas prices add drive for Tucson staycations

Resorts attract locals but still get out of towners
Posted at 6:51 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 22:14:55-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The world of travel was perking up after COVID kept so many at home. Now Tucson resorts that normally slow down in the summer are facing the effects of gas prices too. But they are still finding ways to bring in the guests.

Between gas prices and plane fares there's a lot to discourage travel. But Tucson resorts still stay busy in the summer and one way is to attract customers from close to home.

Tucson’s usually a prime place to vacation in the winter when our mild weather looks great to someone eager to escape the frozen north.

When the southwest is sizzling, Tucson resorts usually run special packages to attract locals looking for a short weekend getaway.

This summer expensive gas and soaring airfares are an extra reason to stay close to home.

Loews Ventana Canyon offers beautiful scenery, golf, and a cool, inviting pool—--along with special summer packages to convince locals to come in and enjoy them but the Managing Director there says so many people want to get back into travel that he still sees strong summer business from out of town.

Grant Dipman says, “We just had a group that was in from the Pacific Northwest. We actually have a group right now that's in from the Northeast. So even though we get a little bit warmer in Tucson in the summer, still the guests are experiencing that in their areas but certainly with less humidity than what we see.”

Visit Tucson works to attract more visitors. That involves researching travel trends. Felipe Garcia says people were still road-tripping despite high gas prices but now prices are hitting levels that make people reconsider summer driving.

“In the last few weeks and again, last week, it was announced that finally people are starting to have some restructuring in demand are really paying attention to the cost of fuel as a reason to travel.”

Garcia says Tucson resorts and attractions may still bring in guests like Phoenix residents who may be willing to do a little driving for a nice change of scene.

Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 40 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.