Saturday, April 23, 2011


Gas prices are on the rise nationwide, but one filling station in Florida has earned the dubious distinction of having the highest prices in the country.

Suncoast Energys, located near the Orlando International Airport, was charging $5.69 a gallon for regular gasoline on Friday. That's the highest of any gas retailer in the nation, according to price tracker

By contrast, the average price in the city of Orlando is $3.78 a gallon, a few pennies below the state and national averages.

Patrick DeHann, senior analyst at, said many tourists use the station before returning rental cars on the way to the airport, without realizing how expensive the gas is until it's too late.

Rising gas prices: 'When is it going to stop?'

The manager of Suncoast Energys, Bob Barnes, confirmed Friday that the station is also charging $5.74 a gallon for medium grade gas and $5.79 for premium.

When told that these were the highest prices in the nation, Barnes said, "I don't know about that; we don't check other prices."

But authorities in Orlando -- where tourism helps drive the local economy -- have taken notice of the high prices at Suncoast and another gas station near the airport.

The city does not have the authority to regulate gas prices, so Orlando recently passed an ordinance requiring gas stations to post prices on signs that are clearly visible from the street.

The stations now have until May 12 to comply with the rule, or face fines of $250 a day, according to Cassandra Lafser, a spokeswoman for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Lafser said the stations have not yet requested the permits required to put in the new signs. But they still have a few weeks to act before the fines kick in, she added.