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Post hurricane, Lawrence gasoline prices highest in the state; Casey's files plans for Sixth Street store


When you look at the scenes of destruction in Texas, you realize we probably don’t have nearly as much to complain about as we think we do. Yet, Lawrence residents likely still will complain about gasoline prices. Indeed it does appear that Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the fuel markets is being felt more in Lawrence than in many area communities.

I have reported on this before: There is something mysterious that happens between Lawrence and Eudora. You seemingly enter a different dimension when it comes to gasoline prices. It is not uncommon for the Kwik Shop in Eudora to sell gasoline quite a bit cheaper than the Kwik Shop just about five miles down the road at 23rd and Harper. But today, the difference is as stark as I’ve seen it in some time. Gasoline is selling for 20 cents a gallon cheaper at the Eudora Kwik Shop than at Lawrence Kwik Shops. The low-grade unleaded gasoline is selling for $2.47 a gallon in Eudora versus $2.67 a gallon in Lawrence.

A quick check of the gasoline tracking website by AAA shows that Lawrence indeed is selling gasoline quite a bit higher than the national average. The site shows the national average at $2.51 a gallon. Lawrence’s average, according to the site, is $2.59 per gallon, although nearly all the gasoline stations on East 23rd Street were higher than that this morning.

It is not that way throughout Kansas, though. The statewide average for gasoline is $2.41 a gallon.

Obviously, the hurricane and resulting flooding have had a large increase on gasoline prices across the country, as several refineries have had to stop production. The $2.51 national average is the highest price of the year.

Closer to home, Lawrence finds itself in a familiar position: It has the highest priced gasoline of all the Kansas metro areas tracked by AAA. Here’s a look:

— Lawrence: $2.59 per gallon, up 13 cents from prior day average

— Kansas City, Kan.: $2.57 per gallon, up 10 cents from prior day average

— Wichita: $2.44 per gallon, up 6 cents from prior day average

— Topeka: $2.37 per gallon, up 7 cents from prior day average

• If I truly understood gasoline prices, I would be writing this column from my yacht. Regardless, everybody speculates about why gasoline prices are consistently higher in Lawrence, although I’ve never found a definitive answer. In the past we have noted the number of gas stations per capita is a bit lower in Lawrence than in Topeka, for instance. That would have an impact on supply and demand. I would also note that Lawrence gas prices aren’t really that much different from the Kansas part of the KC metro area. We have a lot of Lawrence residents who commute to Kansas City. If the majority of our commuters went to Topeka, which consistently has low gasoline prices, that may put some downward pressure on Lawrence prices.

One other theory that will be put to the test involves our mix of gasoline retailers. One key difference between the Lawrence and Eudora gasoline markets, for example, is that Eudora has a Casey’s store. Lawrence does not. The Eudora Kwik Trip always matches the price of Casey’s.

As I reported earlier this week, it sure looks like Casey’s is planning to open a station on Sixth Street in Lawrence. I’ve now got new information that makes it look more likely. Casey’s has now filed a site plan with the city to build at 1703 and 1711 W. Sixth St., which includes the site of the old College Motel and the repair shop Action Automotive.

The plans filed at City Hall call for about $2.5 million worth of construction to build an approximately 4,800-square foot convenience store with eight gasoline pumps that would accommodate a total of 16 vehicles.

As we reported earlier this week, Casey’s may be a bigger than expected player in the pizza market. We’ll see what if any impact it has on the gasoline market. Here’s a look at some of the plans and renderings filed with the city.

Courtesy: City of Lawrence

Courtesy: City of Lawrence by Chad Lawhorn

Courtesy: City of Lawrence

Courtesy: City of Lawrence by Chad Lawhorn


David Holroyd 7 months, 3 weeks ago

If you exit from this store and want to go West..good luck on left hand turns.....and likewise if you come from the east...it's a short distance from 6th and Iowa and lot of traffic dumps on 6th st.

Wonder why they chose that location...cheap real estate...? Bet it won't be taxed or valued at 2.5 million. Just like HERE is not valued at the $75 million dollar project it was touted...instead it got valued at $29 million...No one complains and If I recall it had bank loans of $42 milllion.

Why would here even need any tax abatement....the county Assesssor already gave it to them with a low valuation...

Has the county assessor cut your valuation?

Clark Coan 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I travel to small towns in Kansas frequently and their prices are almost always lower than gas prices in Lawrence. That indicates price-fixing to me.

Kevin Kohls 7 months, 3 weeks ago

So agree. I travel to see family about once a month to central Kansas and their town of 3000 with just 2 gas stations is always 10-15 cents cheaper. A town like Lawrence with a greater amount of competition should never be higher than small communities.

Dillon Davis 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I actually submitted a request to Casey's website back in March or Feb for them to build out on west 6th near George Williams Way. There is a lot of development out there and Rock Chalk Park gets a lot of traffic for events. And it's close to the K-10 bypass where people get on and off each morning and evening. There is only one gas station out there and that is the Kwik Shop at 6th & Wakarusa which is an absolute pain to get in and out of. This location is strange to me too but I am just glad they are finally coming to Lawrence (and I am going to take a little bit of the credit ;)

Michael Kort 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Chad,...what refinery does Lawrence get it's gasoline refined at ?

For example, does our Gasoline come from the old Farmland Refinery in SE Ks .or does it come from somewhere in Oklahoma ?

Do we have a pipeline terminal in Lawrence direct from a refinery source or sources or does our gasoline get trucked to here from somewhere else east or west.......as in where ?

Are gasoline supplies being diverted from refiners that are north of the gulf coast area for use in the gulf coast area until they can get there own back on line .

i understood that 20 different refineries were in the path of Harvey including this country's largest refinery at Port Arthur, Tx ..........which was recently purchased by Saudi Aramco.............a bit of bad luck for the Saudi's National Oil Co .

I have observed that the price of some prescription drugs that would be $10 at a box store in OP as maybe being double or more here in Lawrence, from the same Box Store Retail Pharmacies . HUMMMM ?

COSTCO in OP would actually sell drugs consistently lower in price than some HMOs supposed discounted network drug stores would sell them for ( these over price their drugs and then give phony discounts to their HMO members ) ( that i assume were sold as a group for profit to the drug chains? ) that still left COSTCO as the low cost leader and because of a Ks. state law COSTCO had to provide free access to non COSTCO members in order to have a pharmacy at all in the store .

That actually worked out well for COSTCO because people would hear about lower drug costs and go into their store off of Metcalf Ave, look around on their way to the Pharmacy and decide to join .

The Good RX site on line issues coupons and gives one a chance to price compare prescription costs at various stores who supposedly accept their coupons, etc .....price .which can vary dramatically if you are a cash customer........i'd ask before you go if they honor the Good RX printable coupons or have another lower cost in house option .

if you are a repeat user of a prescription medication shopping can save you a bundle over a year's time. Saving $10 per month........not undoable......is like getting $120 per year for a few moments of easy work that is not taxable as income .

I have seen some prescription prices vary by $ 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or more for the same exact prescription drug .........and the saying, that there is a sucker born every day, must be true !

Michael Kort 7 months, 3 weeks ago

It is also the Labor Day Week End.......another good excuse to gouge people !

Jerry Harper 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Gasoline prices are consistently anywhere from 10 to as much as 30 cents lower in Topeka. When prices drop whether you go East or West, one has to wonder why? Perhaps the Attorney General's consumer staff ought to be looking at this. Or the local District Attorney.

Bob Harvey 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I have often wondered why gasoline prices are significantly lower on the Kansas Turnpike than they are in Lawrence. That is something I have never encountered before. Normally the gauging comes from those stations that have a monopoly on folks travelling those roads.

Deep down I believe there is only one reason our prices are higher in Lawrence. Higher prices = higher profits.

Brandon Devlin 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Pretty sad that the cost of gas is almost .20 less out at the turnpike station then in Lawrence.

Joe Herynk 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Collusion seems to be the only valid answer for consistently higher gas prices in Lawrence. Unfortunately, collusion will remain the number one reason until someone comes up with a better exclamation.

Theodore Calvin 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I have been told that Topeka has companies like Capital City Oil that are major local hubs, and as the gasoline is shipped out of there transportation costs are added and thus gas is generally cheaper in Topeka. Not sure if there is any truth to that, but if so it makes some sense.

Brandon Devlin 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I could understand that, if prices weren't lower by quite a bit in places like Eudora and Tonganoxie.

Zoe Flowers 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Talked to my sister in Austin, TX yesterday. She told me about sitting in line over a block long to get gas after she finally found one that still had gas. She was shocked to find out gas was 45 cents more here than what she paid even with the price gouging going on there.

Emily Morgan 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks for clarifying the point! In fact, this is the time you may need additional finances to get things in order. So, if you are intended to go to the bank to get a loan, think if this is really worth it. People who value urgency, usually apply to online lenders. Turn a great payday loan service from BusinessLoanGate. It’s a very convenient way of getting quick cash for a very short period before your paycheck comes or you’ll have profits in business. So if you do go over your initial budget, you will not end up emptying out your wallet.

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