KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) — For what seems like the first time in a long time, gas prices are below four dollars a gallon at at least one southeastern Wisconsin gas station.
Lou Perrine’s in Kenosha is offering gas for $3.99 for as long as they can.
But it may not last. Gas station owners are closely monitoring the international markets to see if they can hold the price through the weekend.
Anthony Perrine, the owner of Lou Perrine’s Gas & Grocery, said, “We had people coming in when I changed it this afternoon, saying ‘something’s wrong with your pump, it says $3.99.’ And people are a little bit more excited, some people were high-fiving my team.”
Perrine wanted to be the first in the area to drop prices below four dollars a gallon. It’s not just good marketing, he says business is slow and spirits are down.
Perrine said, “Hey, if we can drop it below four dollars, it’s that magic number right now, maybe boost some spirits before the weekend.”
The average price in Wisconsin is currently $4.37 a gallon according to gasbuddy.com, down from the peak of $4.92 a gallon one month ago.
And drivers have noticed.
Brandon Jacobson may have had the biggest purchase of the day. The owner of a charter boat company put $300 of gas into his transfer tank that will fuel his 300-gallon boats.
He said, “We’re dumping in hundreds of dollars every time we come out and fuel up.” He added, “Every time we fill up [the boats], it’s thousands of dollars. So when you can save five, 10 cents, every penny matters.”
And pennies also matter for station owners, who do not set prices arbitrarily. They closely monitor several market factors, often profiting just five to 12-cents a gallon.
But Perrine was not profiting Thursday night, on July 14. He’s taking a loss because the gas that was pumped at $3.99 Thursday was bought three days ago at a higher price.
Perrine said, “A tanker comes in at 8,000 gallons. If you lose 25 cents, and you’re a little guy, that’s two grand out the door. So it’s not as easy as people like to think it is.”
And with the market this volatile, that kind of loss is always a possibility.
So while the $3.99 price is helping drivers right now, it may not last even into Friday.
Perrine said, “I’m hoping $3.99 lasts, but tomorrow’s another market day. It could shoot up 30 cents and then we’re kind of screwed.”
Lou Perrine’s pumps are open 24/7 at both Kenosha locations.