Full Service Stations, Dying Breed Of Business - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

7/28/04-Tyler

Full Service Stations, Dying Breed Of Business

"Thank you very much, come again Ma'am."

Not something you hear much at gas stations anymore. With self service or pay at the pump, you don't even have to talk to an actual person to pay for your gas. But there are places where "service with a smile" still comes with a tank of gas: four in Tyler to be exact.

The Regency Shell Service Station on South Broadway still sees at least 25 cars roll in everyday. "People use it for different reasons," says Owner, Johnny Coffman. "A lot of times they'll come in just because they don't want to have to pump it themselves and get gas on their hands, you know, because they're dressed up and everything. People use it so they don't have to get out of their cars."

But the extra service will cost you 50 cents more per gallon. That's 50 cents many are not willing to shell out with record high gas prices.

"I think it's the expense, because it's so much cheaper to do it yourself, and people like the thought of saving money," says one customer, Lou Anne Smoot.

Another reason people keep pulling in? For a taste of "The Good Ol' Days."

"It's like the old time service that you get a long time ago, so I enjoy that," says another customer, William Brown.

"We have a lot of people that keep telling us, please do not close up. There's no full service anymore like there used to be," says Coffman.

But staying open may not be an option forever. Even with the extra charge, turning profit off what many call a dying breed isn't easy.

"By the time you pay your labor and cost and everything to go with it there's not that much profit in it anymore," Coffman.

But more than making money, they say their station is about keeping alive the values and standards of service from "The Good Ol' Days."

Reporting: Braid Sharp bsharp@kltv.com

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