A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 26, 2008
Gas Tourism (Gas Tourist)

In 2008, the price of gasoline steadily increased in the United States. In Mexico, the price was lower because of subsidies to support low-wage-earning Mexicans who couldn’t afford high gas prices. Americans from San Diego crossed the border into Tijuana and Americans from El Paso crossed the border into Ciudad Juarez in search of cheaper gas.

A Wall Street Journal article on June 24, 2008 described the San Diego-Tijuana journey. A New York (NY) Times article on June 25, 2008 described the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez journey, using the terms “gas tourism” and “gas tourist.”

The Mexican gas is often of an inferior quality, with a higher sulfur content than what is allowed in the United States. However, many “gas tourists” are willing to accept a dirtier engine and environment for much lower gas prices.


Wall Street Journal
Fill ‘er Up: Gas Is Cheap in Tijuana,
So Californians Buy Big Fuel Tanks
Pickups Make Lots of Runs Over the Border;
How Mr. Robinson Pays for His Vacation

By JOEL MILLMAN and ANA CAMPOY
June 24, 2008; Page A1
(See Corrections and Amplifications item below.)
SANTEE, Calif.—As gasoline prices rise ever higher, some drivers have discovered an alternative to runaway fuel inflation in the U.S.: subsidized gas just minutes away in Mexico.

Gasoline is selling for six pesos per liter across the border in Tijuana, which works out to about $2.50 a gallon, way cheaper than gas prices approaching $5 a gallon in San Diego County. Diesel fuel is cheaper still—$2.19 a gallon.

All of this is a boon for James Blue’s auto shop, located in a strip mall in the arid hills east of downtown San Diego. His business, Express Performance Center, installs extra-large fuel tanks in pickups and other work vehicles used for runs to fill up with cheap gas in Mexico.

Cat Dirt Sez
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
American “Gas Tourists” Make NY Times
I’ve been all over the Tijuana/Baja gas crisis. The whole time I’ve been wondering when this great story would go national. At last- I have my answer. Today. Or rather tomorrow. Specifically- the New York Times is checking in with a report from Ciudad Juarez, of all places.

New York (NY) Times
Low Mexican Gas Prices Draw Americans
By ADAM B. ELLICK
Published: June 25, 2008
CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico — When George Terrazas was mugged at gunpoint in this Mexican border city several months ago, he vowed never to return.

That, however, was before gasoline hit $4 a gallon in his hometown, El Paso, just across the border.

On Saturday, Mr. Terrazas was back in Ciudad Juárez, wooed by its irresistibly low-priced gasoline — around $2.66 a gallon — even if not quite unfazed by the indiscriminate gunfire from dueling drug cartels that has contributed to a 2008 average of three killings a day in the city.

“I don’t feel comfortable here,” he said, “but I can’t even fill the tank on the U.S. side.”

Mr. Terrazas, a 48-year-old maintenance worker, is among a flow of American “gas tourists” who, Mexican service stations near the border with El Paso estimate, account for a 50 percent surge in gasoline sales here over the last several months. (Similar increases are reported along the border all the way to Tijuana.) Even the Mexico Tourism Board is promoting the journey.
(...)
For now, though, many South Texans are buying all the fuel they can south of the border, and little wonder. Four of the seven poorest urbanized counties in the United States are along the Texas border, including El Paso, according to a 2006 Census Bureau report.

New York (NY) Times - Video
Gas Tourism
Americans who live near Mexico are taking advantage of cheaper gasoline prices south of the border. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, June 26, 2008 • Permalink