ORLANDO, Fla. - If you've ever overpaid for gas by the Orlando International Airport, new competition may finally bring those prices
down, or maybe even put those stations out of business.
Wawa opened up its newest location Thursday on Semoran Boulevard down the street from OIA, which is an area notorious for overpriced gas. In fact, WFTV found out it has some of the highest prices in the country.
The new Wawa on Semoran and Lee Vista boulevards has gas advertised for $2.99 a gallon, which is the cheapest gas currently in Orlando.
Two nearby gas stations had already lowered their prices to match Wawa's Thursday afternoon.
Drivers were lined up at the Wawa.
It's the 17th store that Wawa has opened up in Orlando.
The city for years has tried to fix the problem of pricey gas in the OIA area by passing laws that require gas stations
there to have visible signs.
However, a couple WFTV spoke with said they were taken by the high prices down the block because they didn't see a sign.
"Do you think this gas station will effectively do what the city has tried to do for years?" WFTV reporter Racquel Asa asked Mayor Buddy Dyer.
"I think this will help, because it's on the north side of those two stations, so most of the people pulling in for gas are going to the airport to return a rental car," Dyer said.
Wawa said regulations only allow the company to keep the $2.99 price for three days.
After that, it'll go back up, but not to $5 or $6 a gallon like it is down the street.
Denee Hickman drove from Lake Nona to the station to get gas. She said it was worth the trip.
car, you have to put in premium gas," Hickman said.
"Are you hoping to put those other gas stations out of business?" Asa asked Chris Gheysens, Wawa CEO.
"That's not why we do business, to put people out business. That's up to them. We can only hope we bring a more competitive price to the marketplace," Gheysens said.
That's what happened with other gas stations up the block.
one-mile stretch of Semoran Boulevard, there were two other gas stations matching Wawa's price. The pumps, however, were empty and the price at the pump was still double.
"Hopefully, they'll get on the bandwagon and do the same as they are doing here, or at least try to keep up," Hickman said.