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Lexington gas prices dip as low as $2.79 a gallon amid fierce competition

Marisa Wilson bought gas for $2.79 9/10 a gallon at the Dixie Value Mart Valero station, 150 Augusta Dr. in Lexington, Ky., Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff
Marisa Wilson bought gas for $2.79 9/10 a gallon at the Dixie Value Mart Valero station, 150 Augusta Dr. in Lexington, Ky., Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff Herald-Leader

Gas prices across the Bluegrass have dipped markedly in recent weeks.

Costco and Sam's Club led the mainstream Lexington pack, both with prices of $2.82 a gallon, on Friday afternoon. One motorist reported $2.79 a gallon gas at the Valero station on Augusta Drive in north Lexington.

Costco administrative manager Eric Coleman said that the store had seen a three to four percent increase in gas sales week to week.

The highest price per gallon for gas in Lexington was $3.29 a gallon at the Airport Food Mart at 5584 Versailles Road in west Lexington, according to the gas price monitoring website GasBuddy.com.

While Lexington's gas prices were low — down as much as 40 to 50 cents per gallon over summertime highs — the area did not have the region's lowest gas prices.

Prices in Saint Louis were reported as low as $2.76 a gallon, while Missouri also held the title of lowest state average in the Kentucky vicinity, at $2.83 a gallon, according to Gasbuddy.

Readers responding to a Herald-Leader Facebook post noted gas prices well below $3 a gallon across the state, with $2.83 in Berea, $2.89 in Mount Sterling and $2.99 in Cynthiana. One reader noted a per-gallon price of $2.79 in Hartford in Western Kentucky.

E.J. Anfous, owner of the Valero gas station and adjoining market on Augusta Drive in north Lexington, said that his price of $2.79, reported by one reader as the lowest price in Lexington, helped to bring in hundreds of new customers.

"I always keep it 10 to 15 cents cheaper than everybody," Anfous said. "I like to make less profit and bring more customers into the store. ... We can afford to sell it at this price."

Joe Duff, owner of Duff's service station on New Circle Road at North Broadway, said his gas prices were $3.17 a gallon for either full- or self-serve.

Duff, who has been in the service station business for 60 years, said that after decades in the business he still doesn't understand how gas prices can fluctuate so wildly over time and between different vendors.

He said superstores such as Sam's Club are selling, "three to four cents cheaper than we can buy it."

Crude oil prices have fallen more than 22 percent in the last three months, making them the lowest since 2010.

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