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Gas prices ramp up ahead of Memorial Day weekend

DENVER -- Get ready to pay more at the pump ahead of Memorial Day weekend. The American Automobile Association says drivers are about to pay the highest gas prices since 2014.

Prices are higher for several reasons: Demand is up, U.S. oil supplies are down and gas stations have switched to a more expensive summer blend.

The national average for a gallon of regular gas jumped 65 center since Memorial Day in 2017.

Analysts are predicting the national average will top out at $2.95 a gallon between Thursday and Monday. And it could hit $3 before summer ends.

In Denver, the average price is hovering near $2.80 a gallon.

On Thursday morning, the cheapest gas was $2.64 a gallon at the Valero station near Federal Boulevard and West 20th Avenue, according to Gas Buddy.

There are a handful of local gas stations that have crossed what experts call the $3 psychological barrier. That's when prices at the pump start changing people's habits and travel plans.

AAA recommends the estimated 37 million people hitting the roads for the holiday weekend should fill up tanks as early as possible.