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Biz Roundup: Tourism / Gas Prcies

Central Valley Hotel Occupancy Higher: Hotels in Fresno and Tulare counties are showing improved occupancy so far this year according to Smith Travel. Fresno hotel rooms sold are up 7% in April and 7.6% year to date withe Tulare/Visalia hotel rooms sold was up 8.1% in April and up 7.6% year to date. Merced and Stockton showed a similar improvement. RevPar for both Fresno and Visalia is well above 9% year to date showing a recovery underway.

Occupancy is Tulare County accommodations in April was 62.5% compared to 57.8% in April 2012.

Gas prices across California are falling as we head into June. In SLO the lowest price gas is at Arco at $3.93;in Tulare a number of of stations are selling regular for $3.73 and in Fresno the lowest price is $3.74 at a Beacon on G St.

Gas Buddy says the average gasoline price in the state is now $3.98 falling from $4.05 in mid May. Crude oil prices have been down in part due to increased domestic production. Gas Buddy analyst Patrick DeHaan writes: “Good news for motorists: if past history is any indication, June is a relatively quiet month at the gas pump. And perhaps the best news? The last two years we’ve even seen downward trends in gasoline prices for the month, and I believe this year we’ll likely see similar relief in store.”

Increasingly domestic oil is moving by rail. BNSF rail traffic for the year is up around 4% but shipments of petroleum by rail are up 75%.

Meanwhile the the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has given its approval to Tesoro Corp to buy the BP Refinery in Carson, CA, and the state Attorney General and the California Energy Commission has OK’d the deal as well. Tesoro is spending $2.38 billion to buy the BP refinery and its southern California assets that include Arco. The BP Carson refinery capacity is 266,000 bpd. Some fear Arco’s low price leadership may end.

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