Let the Mishawaka gas price games begin - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Let the Mishawaka gas price games begin

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An Elkhart woman fills up her tank for $3.53 a gallon in Mishawaka An Elkhart woman fills up her tank for $3.53 a gallon in Mishawaka
MISHAWAKA - As of Monday, the national average for a gallon of gas reached $3.70. That's 13 cents higher than a year ago at this time. And it matches the previous high for the year 2014, set back in April. But in Mishawaka, three gas stations fighting for customers are driving that price way down.

The intersection of McKinley Ave and Bittersweet Road might look like any ordinary crossroads. But it's actually a battlefield.
Citgo, Marathon and Save gas stations are duking it out for the cheapest gas prices in town.

"Looking at $3.53 vs. $3.99, said Elkhart resident and Marathon customer Denise Konecny. "Yeah that's a big difference."

Marathon station co-owner Sammy Safi says it all began about five months ago, when the Save station dropped prices by 5 cents per gallon. He matched Save's price and then Citgo followed soon after.

"We didn't plan it," said Safi. "It just happened, and it went out of hand." In the past two weeks, prices at the three stations sank to 30 cents per gallon less than surrounding gas stations.

"I'm at $3.54 and he's at $3.53 so I'm going to have to lower it," said Safi. "You'll be able to pump gas at $3.53 in about two seconds." Safi says he's losing money by lowering prices, but he's making up for it by attracting more customers. He says he's seeing 10 times as many customers as he was before the three-way price wars.

"If you came last week, you could hardly get into the station," said Safi. "Cars were back-to-back all the way down to McKinley and also out to Bittersweet." The low prices have Citgo customers like landscapers Scott Eichorst and Kyle Kronewitter going out of their way.

"Even if we're running low on gas," said Eichorst. "We wait and push it til we get here." Eichorst and Kronewitter said the lower gallon prices add up. They say they've been able to save $20 per tank during the past two weeks.

Retired veteran, Joseph Ganser, says he feels the savings in a big way.

"It's a big difference being on a fixed income," said Ganser. "Everytime you can save a little money, that's very important."

You can find gas prices anytime using Gas Buddy right here on FOX28.com

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