Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Do the Math - 53 Weeks Later

Here we are again at the intersection of 1st Street and Grand Avenue in Downtown Grand Junction. The Riverside Parkway has reduced some of the traffic load from the intersection, but it's still, in my opinion, the best location for a roundabout in GJ where there isn't one.

As in the past, I like to take a picture of the intersection not for the traffic, but for the two convenience stores and gas stations on either corner. Here's what I'm getting at:

While the overall situation is certainly better than it was a year ago, the question remains about the seemingly inexplicable discrepancy between two similar businesses, who appear on the surface to be selling fuel from the same oil company.

Why, then, does the business on the left feel they can sell regular gas for a quarter more than the business on the right? How is it that premium grade at the station on the right is less costly than regular at the station on the left?

I would love to be able to ask the appropriate management representatives these questions, and may get the chance to. I thought I would give our excellent professional media at the local level a shot at it first, though.

Looking forward to some more local reporting on this issue. Thanks!


Kathryn said...

I don't know that there's much more to do than what we've done -- reported that the price of gas, varies around town, unlikes in the past when it all seemd to rise and and fall in unison. I think the simple fact is retailers, of gas or anything else, can charge what they want for their product. For all of them to get together and decide on a price, I believe, is known as price fixing and as frowned upon by the federal government.

John Linko said...

Thanks very much for the comment, Kathryn. I agree that the situation, while displaying disparities such as this more often than I would like, is preferable over no choice in the matter.

The arrival of other companies in the area such as Bradley Sinclair and Western Convenience have helped to offer a choice in pricing, but it would still be nice to know why one company has to sell what is basically the same gas over 10 percent higher than the other guy.

I think it would be an interesting business news piece, exploring what costs and other factors affect the two stores, and how that translates into such a pricing disparity at such a close proximity.

Maybe I'll just have to try my hand at it.