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Associated Press, Published March 01 2011

N.D. Cowboy hall director worried about gas prices

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The executive director of the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame says the timing of rising gas prices could have a negative effect on people starting to sketch out their summer vacations.

Darrell Dorgan told the Bismarck Tribune that the last time prices shot up dramatically in 2008, the Hall lost about 20 percent of revenue.

The Hall depends on visitors coming along the interstate from Minneapolis, Chicago or Seattle for a portion of its revenue.

Unleaded gasoline was between $3.19 and $3.44 per gallon across the state, and prices nationwide could go up as high as $4 as political unrest in Libya and elsewhere have pushed oil above $100 per barrel.

Despite higher prices, tourism officials say they hope the state can continue a trend of rising visitor rates.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.