Sunday, January 27, 2008

Do The Math

This is the intersection of First Street, Grand Avenue, and US Highway 6 and 50 in Grand Junction. No, the town wasn't named for it. It's the intersection most in need of a roundabout. Just give me a few months of vacation when they do it.

I didn't mention before that I'm a big fan of roundabouts. Having spent a considerable amount of time in New England, I can attest to their efficiency and safety, as long as they're built correctly. Think 24 1/2 Road and G Road, but not 12th and Horizon.

The interesting thing about the picture isn't the traffic, but the gas station signs on either side of the intersection. This picture was taken on Saturday afternoon, and the prices had been in place since at least last Wednesday. Don't worry, I can't read them either.

Wow, free coffee with a 10 gallon gas purchase.
Gotta be a great deal, right?

Well, maybe.

OK, so if I get 10 gallons of regular gas at the place on the left, I'll spend $1.20 more and get a free cup of coffee. If I go to the other place, I save $1.20, but no "free" coffee.

I didn't check how much a coffee was at the place on the right, but I'm guessing (because I'm not a coffee drinker) that it's less than $1.20.

Anyway, the disparity in prices between one station and another is what's really interesting to me, given that these places supposedly sell gas from the same oil company, and thus have the same supplier, right? Maybe. Granted, the stations are run by different companies, but for some strange reason I feel that the cost of coffee isn't what's behind this.

In any case, it's a moot point now. As of Saturday night BOTH places were selling regular gas for $2.89. I guess someone didn't get the memo. Yet another example to me of the curious way that gasoline is priced, here and elsewhere. If anyone with more expertise in the industry can help explain this, please do.

Speaking of energy, I think when I have more of it I'll talk about that. I'm kind of tired but happy, having just returned home from an excellent benefit concert for KAFM at Boomers. John-Alex Mason gave a great performance. Judging from his website, he splits time between Memphis and various locations across Colorado.

Until tomorrow.

Update 1/27: At 25 Rd and F Rd at 11:00 Sunday morning, regular at the Bradley Sinclair was $2.75, while the C&F Conoco on the opposite corner was $2.89. Caveat emptor.

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