Gas prices have shot past the $4-a-gallon mark in parts of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, just days before Memorial Day weekend that marks the unofficial start of the summer tourism season in New England.
Analysts had predicted the milestone would be reached this summer, but residents were unhappy to see that it happened so early.
Nationwide, gasoline reached $3.83 a gallon yesterday. AAA says the average was $3.85 in Maine, $3.76 in New Hampshire and $3.79 in Vermont.
In New Hampshire, officials expect the state to be jammed with visitors, about 525,000 of them, spending about $76 million.
But the gas prices are expected to take a toll over the summer, especially if they continue upward.