Vail cashes in on cheap gas |

Vail cashes in on cheap gas

Chris Outcalt
Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyNatalie Rapson fills up with gas for $1.99 a gallon as a steady stream of motorists line up behind her to get the special Veteran's Day gas price Tuesday at the Conoco in West Vail, Colorado.

VAIL, Colorado ” The pump clicked off in Vail, Colorado ” Corby Hutton’s gas tank was full. She pulled the handle a few more times just to make sure.

“I’m going to squeeze every ounce out of this,” said Hutton, an Eagle-Vail resident.

Hutton’s husband called her Tuesday morning to tell her the West Vail Conoco was offering regular unleaded gas for $1.99.

She didn’t believe him at first. Hutton made the trip to the South Frontage Road station on her lunch break to see for herself.

“I called my friends at work, I was saying, ‘It’s true, it’s true,'” she said.

Gas station owner Mary Caster decided to offer the discounted gas from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in honor of Veterans Day.

“It’s been busy all day,” Caster said. “Lots of people are coming in saying they appreciate it.”

The discount spread via word of mouth. By 9 a.m., a small line of vehicles waiting to fill up swerved into the street. A steady turnover of vehicles kept every pump occupied during lunch time.

Joe Marquez, who owned the gas station 30 years ago, heard Tuesday afternoon that Caster was offering the discount and stopped by to fill up.

“What are you doing, Mary,” said Marquez, a Vail resident.

“I don’t know, Joe,” Mary said. “Am I going crazy, or what?”

Justin McClery’s co-workers were talking about the discount ” he drove to the station Tuesday afternoon to find out if it was true.

“I didn’t believe them it was this cheap,” said McClery, who lives in Silverthorne and works in the Vail Valley. “I needed gas, it’s good timing.”

Hutton joked the cheap gas was like an early Christmas present.

“It’s nice of them to do this,” Hutton said.

Gas was $2.69 at the Conoco on Monday. Caster said she didn’t consider whether the offering the discount was a smart business move when she decided to do it.

“I think with people coming in and buying snacks and sodas, I should be OK,” she said. “But I’m going to need more gas tomorrow.”

East Vail resident Gina Jelacic said she doesn’t mind high gas prices because it gets people thinking about using alternative energy. But a break on prices at the pump is nice, she said.

“I think it’s awesome,” Jelacic said.

Tuesdays are normally pretty slow, Caster said.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “But I’m happy it’s well received.”

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or

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