Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

At 70 to 100 Miles per Gallon, Why Not Get This Vehicle? the Spike at the Gas Pump Is Joined by a Spike in Scooter Sales

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

At 70 to 100 Miles per Gallon, Why Not Get This Vehicle? the Spike at the Gas Pump Is Joined by a Spike in Scooter Sales

Article excerpt

Byline: CRISTIN WILSON

With fill-ups costing anywhere from $50 to $70 as gas hovers around a painful $4 a gallon, many drivers are starting to think seriously about parking the car or truck.

Philip Kleisler of Avondale says he thinks he's found another alternative to his soaring fuel bill.

With a tank that can get anywhere between 70 to 100 miles a gallon, Kleisler is ready for a scooter.

"With gas prices going up, it's making us look even quicker," he said.

At Vespa Jacksonville, sales manager Warren Bolc said the spike at the pump has definitely caused a spike in sales. A year ago, he said, the store was selling around 20 to 30 scooters a month. That's closer to 60 now.

Business has been so brisk, in fact, that the Jacksonville Beach store recently opened a second, 4,000-square-foot showroom in San Marco, at 1636 Hendricks Ave.

"With gas prices, people realize bikes are going to pay for themselves in a year. We've got everybody buying them," said Bolc.

Bolc says his scooters range in price from $1,500 to $9,000, with a $10 fill-up easily having the potential to last up to 2 1/2 weeks.

Julie Carter of St. Nicholas was recently on the Vespa lot, trying to figure out which scooter would be right for her. She doesn't live far from work, she said, which means she doesn't have to use the interstate, so going around 40 miles per hour wouldn't be a problem - especially after she factored in the savings.

Jennifer King of the Southside has the same idea, saying gas prices have her on the hunt for a more fuel-efficient ride. …

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