From CBS News Chicago.
At one time, $5 per gallon gas seemed like a farfetched idea, but that is no longer the case.
As CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, as of Monday, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the Chicago area is $4.11, compared with $3.71 a month ago, and about $3.10 a gallon at this time a year ago.
Some experts say $5 per gallon gas is possible by Memorial Day-or sometime in summer. Others caution that reaching that mark is unlikely over the next six weeks. In Chicago, the prices keep rising to near-record levels–with no relief in sight.
When gas prices rise it acts like a tax meaning there is less discretionary income to spend on other things. It also increases the overall costs (for attendees and guests) of attending an anime convention significantly which puts even greater pressure on both the con and invited guests. (only a few conventions have the luxury of calling on guests who are well known that live locally)Right now, oil markets are so skittish that records set in 2008 could fall.
Also when gas prices were this high in 2008 the economy was in far better shape then than it was now. Unlike 2008 when the prices peaked in the middle of the convention season after people made thier arragenements, we are seeing prices go up in the months when people start thinking of going.
While anime convention attendance has been growing at most shows it will be interesting to see if these prices put a damper on people going.