CALGARY, Alberta – May Long Weekend is a staple of Canadian culture and will always be known as the long weekend that rings in a new season of drunken outdoor debauchery. It is also known for being the one weekend in the year when the price of going anywhere costs a fortune at the pumps.
2014 will be no different, but this year a small research team of reporters and industry insiders have discovered the reason prices are expected to hit an all time high of $2.50 per litre. It seems that the May Long Weekend has for the last 19 years coincided with major renovation projects at the homes of oil company executives.
We discovered that executive home renovations costing $200,000 and up all began on the May Long Weekend in Calgary, Edmonton, and Houston as far as the data shows. These renovations all began at the same time prices at the pump soared to record highs every year. The price eventually comes down a bit, but the spike indicates an intentional hike by producers via sellers. We think it’s to cover the cost of the huge executive reno projects. – Yu Mii, 2P staff reporter
A number of executive renovations are starting next week according to Burt Blammerghast with the City of Calgary’s building permits department. Several permits have been pulled to renovate existing homes and a few have been pulled to build additions on others.
One project he was especially interested in seeing was a 12,000 square foot addition to the penthouse floor of a condo in the downtown core. He won’t give us a name, but he did say the owner was the CEO of a major oil company and was willing to build truss support rods to teeter his new ballroom over a city street. Burt expects the cost to be in the tens of millions.
2P News’ Rodecker Smith tracked down a few contractors with high end reputations and managed to gather some more information on past renovations that had been done in the long weekend time frame for oil and gas executives in the past. William Ronstadder was candid with telling us about his experience with the CEO of Wilder & Wilder Exploration in 2011.
We went into this job completely blind, but knowing he had deep pockets. We showed up and he gave us carte blanche to redo the whole damn house. Money was no object, and he and his wife would be back in 3 weeks. Before he left he did give us a gift though.
He gave each of my contractors a corporate fuel card from W&W, explaining that if we didn’t use it, we’d go broke paying for fuel getting to the job site. Then he laughed and boarded the helicopter bound for his private jet. I always thought it was strange, but now it makes sense.
With several of the permits approved for 2014 construction easily headed for the $200,000 dollar mark, it seems fair that 2P engineers and our in house market analyst have predicted the price of gasoline to hit $2.50 by late Friday afternoon.
Enjoy the May Long Weekend Canada, and may your campfire stories honour the Oil Executive, and the posh and luxurious lifestyles that your hard-earned money has paid for.