CRIPPLE CREEK — Gasoline prices were lower here in April than anywhere else in Colorado.
Through a promotion sponsored by Cripple Creek casinos, prices dropped 15 cents a gallon at the Tenderfoot Total Gas Station.
Casino owners hoped that would bring more gamblers and would be good publicity. They have no way of knowing whether it worked. But the city of Cripple Creek benefited. The city helped market the promotion because the public works department was going through its fuel budget faster than expected.
The deal was offered at a time when gasoline prices in Colorado were hovering around $1.50 a gallon.
Lois Rice, executive director of the Casino Owners Association of Colorado, said high gasoline prices should not affect casinos in Cripple Creek or Black Hawk or Central City, the towns where gambling is legal. "People are planning higher gas prices into their budgets, and they can always take one of the bus shuttles to the casinos from various shopping malls."
All the casino owners in Cripple Creek helped finance the promotion, but some helped more than others.
EADS — Agro Management Group Inc., is manufacturing and selling vegetable-based motor oil and other products and, at the same time, is giving southeastern Colorado an economic boost.
Not only will the products be produced in Kiowa County but some 24,000 acres of sunflowers, a major ingredient in the products, are grown in Kiowa County.
The company produces motor oil, dust suppressant, and mechanical drip oil. The dust suppressant can be used on gravel roads, riding arenas, and rodeos. The drip oil can be used to lubricate turbine shafts in irrigation pumps.
The motor oil costs more than conventional motor oil and is not yet available to consumers. The city of Fort Collins has been using the motor oil in some of its vehicles for about two years.
Several organizations are involved in producing and marketing the products: Agro Management, Great Plains Oil, the Kiowa County Economic Development Foundation, and Great Plains Growers.
An agreement among the organizations gives Agro Management and Kiowa County Growers Inc. the exclusive right to manufacture and sell the products within a 200-mile radius of Eads.
The Kiowa County Foundation was organized to find ways to boost the economy of depressed southeastern Colorado. The town of Eads was hit hard when the Union Pacific Railroad stopped running through the region. "This is very important," said Janet Frederick, executive director of the Kiowa County Foundation. "We need diversification here."
Agro Management has formed a similar partnership with farmers in Ubly, MI.
ARVADA — Public Service Co., of Colorado is asking approval to shut down the underground Leyden Natural Gas storage site that has leaked twice since 1993.
The plan has been filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. If approved as expected, the PUC will shut down the site in three phases starting in the Fall of 2001 and lasting about four years.
Cost of the shut-down is expected to total about $8.6 million.
Safety concerns among Arvada area residents and public officials prompted the PUC to close the facility. Last November, they learned that gas had leaked south of the site to within a half-mile of hundreds of homes in the county and Arvadas upscale West Woods development.
That information wasnt revealed until last January.
COLORADO SPRINGS — The planned huge Confluence Park here, a recreational park, is not supposed to cost the taxpayers. But it will result in slightly higher natural gas bills.
Thats because the city Public Utilities Departments gas division lies right in the middle of the 30 acre planned park. The 12-acre divisions property includes two large buildings, parking lots, and a storage yard.
The city and its utilities department are both municipal and are both governed by the City Council, but they are separate entities. While the city services are financed by taxes and fees, the department is financed through rates it charges for gas, water, sewers, and electricity.
The city will reimburse its utilities department for the land and pay it the appraised value, estimated at $6 million. But now the department will have to build a new facility somewhere else at a cost of at least $10 million.
Department Director George Luke said the $3 to $4 million difference will have to come out of ratepayers pockets. He couldnt guess what the effect will be on gas bills, saying it depends on usage of residential, commercial, and industrial customers. But if the costs were split equally, each of the 148,000 gas customers would pay $20.
The planned park is the centerpiece for the redevelopment of lower downtown Colorado Springs.
DENVER — Many of Colorados landowners want people who work in the oil and gas industry to be prohibited from serving on the states Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
A bill to do that was debated in the Colorado Legislature this year, but it died in the House by a one-vote margin, 32 to 33.
Opponents argued the Commission needs the expertise of industry officials to operate effectively. Proponents said it was merely good public policy to remove the perception of conflicts of interest from the Commission.
The Commission decides issues such as how many oil or gas wells can be drilled and where they can be drilled. Currently the seven-member Commission includes five representing the industry, one representing landowners, and one representing landowner interests.
Supporters said they will try again next year to win the Legislatures approval for a similar bill.
GRAND JUNCTION — Burglars who broke into a gas station here didnt take any money. They took about 26,000 Camel and Marlboro cigarettes. The smokes were valued at $4,225.
The burglars wont have a problem lighting them — they also took 120 lighters.
But in another robbery, at the Diamond Shamrock station, a man armed with a handgun took money from the cash register. He forced an employee into a back room, then took the surveillance tapes. He left in a car driven by another man.
Originally published in the June 2000 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2000 by KAL Publications Inc.
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