O&A Masthead

Colorado News —
April 2021

Columnist — Joyce Trent

DENVER — QuikTrip started making good on its promise to open 70 stores in the metro area, acquiring its first two land sites, one consisting of 2.43 acres purchased from Evergreen Devco Inc., in the Central Park Neighborhood of Denver, the other a 6.17-acre-pad in Parker, owned by Heirborn Partners LLC.

QuikTrip plans to start construction in the Central Park acquisition as soon as it receives the necessary building permits. It will start land development later this year in Parker and anticipates opening a 4,900-square-foot store in 2022.

Colorado flag

"QuikTrip is excited about our expansion into Colorado and we can't wait to be a part of the community," said Aisha Jefferson-Smith, spokeswoman for QuikTrip.

Putting 70 stores into operation will take about five years. When the first store opens Colorado will become the twelfth state in which the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based chain operates.

Expansion into the state was triggered by the rapid population growth here and by the urging of customers who have moved here from Oklahoma.

BOULDER — Topotepui Property Management dba Tepuy Properties LLC sold Baseline Carwash for $1.1 million in January.

The buyer was RMTN Properties LLC.

The car wash features six bays. It was purchased by Tepuy in 2018 as part of an acquisition of Baseline Mall, which included four other buildings.

COLORADO SPRINGS — Gasoline prices here jumped to more than a seven-month high with hikes of 10 to 50 cents a gallon estimated for the spring.

Unleaded averaged $2.45 a gallon, according to GasBuddy. That is the highest street price since before July 4 when it topped $2.463. In one month motorists had to pay fifteen cents more a gallon. A year prior, the price was $2.34 a gallon.

The shutdown of Colorado suppliers in Texas during the freeze increased demand for fuel, and lower output from OPEC combined to drive prices upward.

Denver street prices were somewhat lower at the time at $2.388, but were also headed up. Still, both cities were lower than the statewide average of $2.464, the nation's eighteenth highest.

COLORADO SPRINGS — There's a convenience store here that will never be hit by robbers. It's 2,000 feet below ground and surrounded by military personnel.

The store is located at Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, former home of NORAD and still home to a dozen government and Department of Defense facilities inside the mountain. It is part of a retail complex including a barbershop, medical and dental clinics, a cafeteria, and police and fire stations that serve the 200 people from the United States and Canadian forces working there.

It also is the only convenience store in the world that can bounce with the elements. Perched on a giant spring, it can move to withstand an earthquake or blast.

AURORA — Convenience store employees now face an added threat to robbery: anger triggered by the state's mask mandate.

Police are looking for the man accused of assaulting gas station employees who asked him to put on a mask.

One employee was treated for serious facial injuries in the incident.

LITTLETON — A 63-year-old woman was assaulted at a car wash.

She was grabbed by the neck, bitten, pulled from her van and thrown to the ground before a carjacker drove off in her vehicle.

Phillip Dent, 51, was later arrested.

The woman was treated and released by medical personnel.

She told police she had pulled into the automatic wash bay at the Atlantis Car Wash and put her vehicle in park which automatically unlocked the doors. As soon as the wash cycle started and the windshield was obscured the man walked up to the driver's door and opened it.

He grabbed the woman's arm and told her to get out, but she tried to fight him off and was assaulted.

AURORA — Sometimes nothing goes right for a would-be robber.

A man walked into a convenience store and attempted to take out his gun to show the clerk. But because he was clumsy the gun went flying over the counter and onto the floor where the clerk grabbed it. It actually turned out not to be a real gun, only a replica that shoots BBs.

Things went downhill from there — along with the robber's pants.

He started to climb over the counter to retrieve the gun, but changed his mind and headed for the door, losing his pants on the way. The clerk locked up after him, then called police.

The suspect got away, but authorities think they will get him, given what he left behind.

The owner of the store, Chris Burgess, said, "The guy really belongs in the category of 'The World's Dumbest Criminals.' He needs to find a new career."

BOULDER — Despite the challenges of the last year, Smoker Friendly sees a great future in tobacco sales and plans major acquisitions of tobacco and convenience stores.

An infusion of capital was provided for the expansion with the sale of a minority stake in the business to Main Street Capital for $51.7 million.

Smoker Friendly CEO Terry Gallagher Jr., believes as more drug stores and other retail outlets pull tobacco from their shelves his company can fill the niche with oral nicotine and other modern products. He said the sale was a family decision.

The Gallagher family started the business in 1990. His father, Terry Sr., is still active with Gasamat. There are twenty-one Gasamats in the holdings.

Smoker Friendly previously operated under the name The Cigarette Corp., but now is under holding company Boulder Panther Group LLC and runs more than 150 stores that operate as gasoline stations, tobacco, cigar and liquor outlets.

Over the last 14 months Smoker Friendly has acquired 33 store chain Smoker's Outlets, 22 Road Outlets, and three Smoker Friendly dealer stores as part of the expansion.

The aim is to get to 300 to 500 stores in the next few years.

Main Street Capital has established a revolving line of credit and plans to make a delayed draw term loan available to the company.

BOULDER — Alfalfa's Market has closed its flagship store here after 40 years in operation.

High real estate costs, the pandemic that forced its prepared foods department to shut down, and a 60 percent drop in business triggered the move.

The remaining two stores, in Louisville and Longmont, will remain open.

Originally published in the April 2021 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2021 by KAL Publications Inc.

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