Op-ed | Gas Below $2 a Gallon in Snoqualmie Valley, Ridge Station Missed the Memo

Newsflash, gas is below $2 per gallon in the upper Snoqualmie Valley, but don’t go looking in Snoqualmie because apparently the Shell station has blinders on.

Hello Shell corporation… What the heck is up with your gas prices in the Valley? Do you think everyone who lives on Snoqualmie Ridge is rich? Newsflash – the stereotype is not true.

It was recently announced that a new retail development, one that includes a new gas station, was coming to Snoqualmie… directly across from the only gas station on Snoqualmie Ridge. The move has many residents wondering if that competition will finally force Gateway Gas and Deli to lower its prices.

I understand gas prices are impacted by things like competition and rent at the corner of Snoqualmie Parkway and Douglas.  I get that part. The part I don’t get is how Gateway’s prices can be so different from all other stations in Snoqualmie and North Bend.

There are two gas stations in Snoqualmie. There are nine, yes nine, in North Bend – many of which are located much closer to the freeway. Shell has one station on the Ridge, one in downtown North Bend and one at Truck Town.

As of Monday, January 11th, gas at Shell’s Snoqualmie location was $2.79/gallon; downtown North Bend, $2.52/gallon; and $2.29/gallon at Truck Town. The 76 stations in Snoqualmie and North Bend were $2.49 and $2.48 per gallon.

shellridge

It wasn’t always like this. Back when Brad and Jennifer Oberlander ran Gateway Gas and Deli, gas prices were typically similar to the 76 station in historic Snoqualmie. But not anymore. Since the change in management, prices have hovered around 10-20 cents more per gallon. Over the last year the spread seems to have gotten even greater.

So what’s a Chevy Tahoe (don’t judge, I have four kids) driving mom to do? The only thing a consumer can do to make a point: shop somewhere else.

Truck Town is my go-to for gas now. And you know what? Shell is the expensive gas at Truck Town, too. Across thecheapgas street, gas is down to $1.99/gallon at two different stations. So the difference between filling up my SUV [weekly] near home vs. truck town (during a school pick up) can total $20 per week or $1,000 yearly. Not chump change, right?

In part, I am able to take advantage of these better prices because for the past six years, even though I reside in Snoqualmie, my child has attended school in North Bend. (Long story. Just call it district growing pains) Thus making it easier for me to be that exact thing that Snoqualmie City officials hate – retail leakage.  Sorry Mayor Larson.

As much as I try to shop in Snoqualmie, I do have four children – two in college, one in braces and one in drivers ed. And you know what Shell corporation? Those kids don’t come cheap – and that Tahoe holds 25 gallons of gas.

So for now I won’t buy your Snoqualmie gasoline. I am guessing you aren’t shedding any tears because it seems many others (who may cringe when they pull in) still pay your prices, secretly vowing to fill up before they head home the next time.

The thing is, they wouldn’t do this if your prices were more realistic. You have about a year to catch on – because it seems at that point Safeway, QFC or Fred Meyer will be ready to compete to keep Snoqualmie residents from fleeing town to fill their gas tanks.

Until then I will embrace the final year of going to school near Truck Town – the land of cheap gas in the Snoqualmie Valley.

Happy driving everyone!

 

trucktownshell

Shell station at Truck Town, 1/11/16

 

NB shell

Downtown North Bend Shell Station, 1/11/16

Comments

  1. Brad Oberlander says

    Danna,
    The price of gas has dropped dramatically as is seen by truck town locations. The new owners of Gateway don’t seem to care about the neighborhood. I’m still in the oil industry and I can tell you their delivered cost is 35% less than their street price. They don’t have a clue from what Shell tells me. Sorry for the expensive missary.

    Brad Oberlander

  2. When Safeway Gas came to North Bend at Exit 31, we all expected cheaper gas than the Chevron and Shell there. It never happened.

  3. Bought an Electric Vehicle a while ago – one of the biggest pleasures of that is to no longer have to stop at Gateway Gas 🙂 (am now “filling up” at home).

  4. I happen to work there and it’s the same margin it had always been we have dropped our price to 2.75 as gas prices going down allowed us to do so we’re not trying to gouge the public’s pockets look at the prices at IGA on the ridge much higher than the stuff we sell we may not have the inventory or selection but like items are more reasonable than the IGA

  5. We plan our gas fill up around trips out to Issaquah. We go over to the highlands and save at least 50 cents a gallon each fill up. The Shell here is way overpriced, I don’t get that anyone gets their gas there. We are very hopeful that the new gas station will have better prices. We are also hopeful that the new grocery store will have better prices than the IGA.

  6. Jason Weiss says

    I went to exit 34 and got gas today. $1.87 no debit card fee

  7. Before going to work to Bellevue, I always fill up at Snoqualmie Shell. What I have noticed was Snoqualmie Shell is not the most expensive gas station, Folks! There are way more expensive Shell gas stations in Issaquah and Bellevue (They are always 5 to 10 cents more expensive). They are always more expensive than Snoqualmie.
    Since I only use Shell premium, I don’t go to unbranded gas stations like costco or 76.
    I don’t want to waste time on finding cheaper gas for an half hour before going to work.
    I know there are cheaper gas stations in North Bend. But, I always think that I pay a little extra for convenience.

  8. Since my wife only goes to QFC, I have to go to Shell for gas in order to get discounts. Also I have been avoiding “off-brand” gas station for last 10 years (generic gas is not the best option for your vehicle). So, those cheap unbranded gas stations are not my options!
    My job involves a lot of driving. I have seen so many bad gas stations. Ridge Shell is one of the best gas stations I have ever seen. They have really good food like chicken and breakfast. I don’t any differences from previous managements and now.
    They were always expensive than Seattle and North Bend and cheaper than Bellevue and Issaquah.

  9. I never go to this stupid overpriced gas station..also everyone that works there is beyond rude…the Safeway gas ppl are always nice

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