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Less traffic for roadside services

Outside the Baghdad Cafe on Route 66 in Newberry Springs, Calif.

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: Car sales are slow because of gas prices, and the cash register at Cracker Barrel may be a little quieter for the same reason. AAA expects about 400,000 fewer people will hit the roads this holiday weekend. Jeremy Hobson has a look at some of the roadside winners and losers.


Jeremy Hobson: The obvious losers are the roadside restaurants, motels and gas stations. Just this week, Cracker Barrel slashed its sales outlooks for the year. Plus, there are the less obvious losers.

Don Holecek directs the Tourism Center at Michigan State University:

Don Holecek: What's behind those roadside businesses, in terms of accounting firms, laundry firms, wholesalers, insurance.

Tom Lewis, who authored a book on the highway system, says entire towns that depend on interstate traffic could also suffer. But there will be winners this weekend.

Tom Lewis: The short haul rail systems, the bus systems and public transportation.

Lewis says resort destinations near major metropolitan areas will also fare well as people ask themselves this question:

Lewis: Is it any better for me to get in the car and drive 500 miles, when I can drive 50 or 60 miles and have just as much fun?

I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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