At an average of $2.69 per gallon, gas prices are the lowest Payson has seen in the last five months.
According to a press release from AAA Arizona, motorists across the state are enjoying the lowest gas prices in five months.
Figures from AAA show Arizona currently has the second lowest gas prices in the entire nation.
Prices in Payson are slightly higher than in some other parts of the state.
The Phoenix area is lucky enough to boast an average gas price of about $2.55 per gallon -- about 14 cents cheaper than Payson's average price of $2.69 per gallon. Flagstaff residents are taking the biggest hit to the pocketbooks with the highest prices in the state -- an average cost of $2.84 per gallon.
Linda Gorman, Public Affairs Manager for AAA Arizona, said there are many reasons for prices being higher in Payson than in Phoenix.
"One reason could be because of the differences in gasoline blends," Gorman said. "In the Valley, we have to use a cleaner burning fuel called a ‘boutique' blend of gasoline, and that can affect prices."
"If demand is down in Payson, that could also possibly account for higher prices," she said. "Transportation costs can affect gasoline prices as well."
She said that much of the gasoline supplied to the northern regions of Arizona has to be trucked in from out of state and that can drive prices up in those areas.
At present, the Kinder-Morgan pipeline out of Tucson only supplies the southern portion of the state.
Gorman said this summer has been an odd one, as far as gasoline prices in the country and particularly Arizona go.
"If I recall correctly, prices in Payson are usually lower than here in the Valley," she said. "We don't have a tracking system for Payson, I think the closest comparison would probably be Prescott at $2.65 a gallon."
She said market demand and supply are the major factors in gasoline prices and this year they have been somewhat unpredictable.
AAA predicts an increase in Labor Day weekend travel throughout the state because of the lower prices of fuel in Arizona.
Gorman said there is a possibility that Payson could even continue to see drops in gas prices if favorable conditions persist.
The result of a much milder Hurricane Dean than anticipated meant that threats to offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were not realized. Oil production or fuel prices were not affected as a result, as was originally feared.
"There are no new storms forming out at sea this hurricane season," Gorman said. "That's good news, and if everything continues on a good course, prices could continue to decline."
Crude oil prices are at the lowest they've been in two months, at less than $70 per barrel now, as compared to almost $79 on Aug 1. The possibility of continued declines becomes even greater.
Payson, a favored getaway for Valley residents to escape the Labor Day heat, could experience a higher volume of traffic through town this coming weekend as a result.
Other parts of the country do not share in the relatively low prices seen in our state.
According to AAA, gasoline is at an average price of $2.80 on the Pacific Coast, $2.81 in the Mountain West, $2.82 in the Midwest, $2.71 on the mid-Atlantic Coast and $2.90 in the Great Lakes region.
The only part of the country with prices lower than here in Arizona is the Southeast region, at an average of $2.65 per gallon.
AAA lists the following as the top ten destinations for Arizona travelers over the Labor Day weekend: Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Denver, San Diego, Yellowstone National Park, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Santa Fe and Oklahoma City.