Fluctuating gas prices cause war among stations

With a large yellow sign reading “gas sale today” out front every day, the Castleton Village store’s single double-sided gas pump always has customers pumping. But Mary Briggs’ blood was pumping as well on a recent day when she waited in her idling late model VW Passat for more than eight minutes for the car ahead of her to finish pumping.

“It’s still worth the wait,” the West Rutland resident said “The gas here is like 10 cents cheaper than the other places, and that’s on their gas sale days.”

The price for the lowest grade gas at the Castleton Village store has been just under $2.40 for the past week or so, and shows signs of going down even further in the near future, a cashier said.

No more than three miles down the road, three other competing gas stations are located within shouting distance of each other.

Castleton Coastal puts up a good fight with the Castleton Village Store, matching prices for low grade gas on many days.

The pumps, however, seemed a little less busy on this day. Jerry Owens, a delivery driver for a glass company out Whitehall, N.Y., said he stops at Castleton Coastal because “they don’t just have good service, they’re the only one of the Castleton gas stations with diesel, and it’s cheap at that.”

When asked what brings people to his Castleton Four Corner’s Deli, store owner Timothy Keller quickly stated, “I make people laugh, that’s why they come here.”

His family-run Citgo station shows uninterrupted business daily and has gas sales every Monday. But the gas isn’t the only reason customers prefer the Citgo station.

Keller’s wife said their deli makes some of the best sandwiches in the area, and have some people that come in for lunch on an almost daily basis.

When Keller was asked why the Castleton Village store’s prices were so much cheaper, he said “the guy who runs the Village store is a snake, and gas is all he has.”

John Rehlen, the owner of the Castleton Village Store, said he is aware of Keller’s opinion of him and he had similar derogatory comments about him.

The Exxon station across Route 30 from Keller’s store shows signs of bigger business and a worker there claimed to be far too busy to compare prices.

However, with an almost mirrored image of the Citgo’s marquee, gas prices were exactly the same on this day and the Exxon station follows the Citgo station by having gas sales every Tuesday.

Asked why anyone would prefer the Exxon station, customer Rich Thomas had a quick answer.

“It’s because they carry Dunkin Donuts, all you need is Dunkin Donuts,” he said. “Forget gas prices.”

An Exxon cashier who said he is from Rhode Island, said “where I come from you don’t hear of gas sales. Gas sale? What the hell is that?”

He finished by saying “if you didn’t like the price go somewhere else!

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