Gas prices close local business

Published 5:54 am Wednesday, March 23, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
Rising fuel prices have forced one local business owner to close his doors.
Doug Vickery, owner of Doug's Grocery on North Main Street, said that prices had gone too high for him to keep his doors open.
"That's basically why we closed," Vickery said. "They keep going up every week and every week and I just didn't see a need to stay open."
Vickery has owned the gas station for almost six years and closed his doors the Saturday before last.
"Each load of gas got higher and higher, this load would cost so much, the next would cost $1,500 more," Vickery said. "I couldn't make any money off of it. I don't know what the rest (of the service stations) will do, but I couldn't afford it."
Though closing the station was a hard decision it is one he had been thinking about ever since prices began to rise earlier this year. He had even stopped reordering merchandise for some time before the closing.
"Ever since the gas has been going up I knew I was going out," Vickery said. "What little (merchandise) I have left I'll use myself."
The closing may not be permanent.
"If price would get better it would be different," Vickery said.
The suppliers are also taking a huge hit on these price increases. Doug's Grocery was supplied by Cougar Oil out of Monroeville.
"It wasn't their fault," Vickery said. "I quit myself. I could buy anywhere I wanted to, but every place is going up. If you bought a load a week it would be $600 or $800 higher each week on average than the week before. It's not them; it's killing them too. It's not their fault it's going up. It's going up somewhere else and I just wish I knew (where)."
Vickery does not have an explanation for the gas crisis.
"I don't know why it is going so high," Vickery said. "It doesn't look like its going to stop. It went up six cents a gallon just since I left (the business)."
Vickery believes this gas increase is not good for anyone.
"All the high price gas is taking all the money out of circulation," Vickery said. "Nobody's got any money."
A representative from Cougar Oil, who wished to stay anonymous, agreed that the price of oil had gotten out of hand.
"Prices are killing everybody, it makes it hard to make any money," the representative said. "It keeps going up. It's hurting everybody, there's no doubt."
He does not know the exact reasons for the price hike, but he does have a theory.
"I wish I knew why," he said. "It's supply and demand, buying and selling on the stock market. Without new refineries it's going to keep going up. Even if they (the oil companies) bring in a ton of crude oil it's not going to come down any time soon because there's no way to produce it quickly to meet the demand."
He said that gas would likely reach $2.50 by the summer and that is over $2.50 out west.

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