LAS CRUCES, N.M. — With Memorial Day marking the unofficial start to summer more people will likely spend those hot afternoons grilling up a good steak, that has become increasingly more expensive due to rising national beef prices.
Nationally, the United State Department of Agriculture said beef prices have been going up during the month of May.
"You're not sure if it's going to go on sale again," said Celia Castro, who observed Memorial Day grilling at Young Park.
Local meat markets have also felt the impact of the rising prices.
La Finca Meat Market in Mesquite began increasing their price last year after their suppliers raised theirs.
Owner Jorge Cazares compared to last year, his business has seen a considerable decline.
"It's about 30-35 percent less," Cazares said.
The longtime businessman said the drop in sales is directly correlated to high unemployment and rising gas prices.
But his business still saw a steady stream of customers for Memorial Day weekend.
According to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Memorial Day is one of the top three best beef selling weekends all year.
"A lot of people want to have cookouts and they come and buy over 20 pounds," said Eduardo Orozco who works the counter at La Finca.
He said what sets them apart and makes them competitive is the exceptional customer service.
"Customer ask us to marinate the meat which is one of our good offers that we do for free," Orozco said.
Cazares said it's also important to sell a quality product that people enjoy and that will keep them coming back.