Full Service Stations Losing Business With Rising Gas Prices - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/12/05-Tyler

Full Service Stations Losing Business With Rising Gas Prices

For older generations, they are a dying breed. For the young, a rarity. The full service gas station has already fallen victim to modern times, but sky rocketing gas prices are dealing them another blow.

In the old days, it was custom that a fill up came with an oil check and a friendly face. But nowadays, full service has become a luxury and gas is well over $2.00. Just ask the folks over at Shell's Regency Center. "Business has slacked off about 20 percent with gas prices of course going up," said mechanic Craig Madison. "Before gas prices went up, we were normally pumping about 250 gallons a day.

Now we're down to about 180." While the full service lot sat vacant Tuesday afternoon, a steady stream of customers poured in to the self service side. The service bell now rings for a different reason. "I hear it just as much," Craig said, "except for they drive through when they see the price."

The price for regular full service gas is $2.50. It's about 37 cents higher than the self serve. "The elderly folks are starting to ask for directions on how to pump their own gas and how to check their fluids and tires. Luckily we're diversified with a mechanics shop, state inspections and oil changes." A few miles down the road at Halls Exxon, the future of the station depends on full service sales.

"That's what keeps us afloat being that we just have this one store here," said mechanic Joe Francis." It's because of Tyler's older and the faithful citizens, these stations are alive. "These people need us to be here from what I understand, from what they say," Joe said, "we will be here as long as they will allow us to provide service, we will be here." "Every once and a while people need to use it," Craig said. "Otherwise its going to be one of those things like the movie theaters, the dollar theaters, things like that, that are going to go by the wayside."

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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