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.
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 the 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!