‘It’s A Mess’: Gas Station Owners Struggling As Prices Rise

14 June 2022

LAKEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) – Gas is high, really high. But as it turns out, some of the people you may think would be benefitting from these sky high prices are hurting, just like the drivers.

The sign is up, the pumps are in, and the shelves are soon to be stocked at a yet-to-open Amaco in Lakeville.

Rick Bohnen is a second generation owner – he owns two stores in south Minneapolis – and soon he’ll be pumping out the business here in the south metro. He says it’s pretty tough to open with prices this high.

So it’s not just consumers struggling, the Minnesota Service Station and Convenience Store Association says Bohnen and all his peers are struggling too.

“It’s a mess, we are an absolute mess. It’s been tough, when you are talking about a load of gas going from $10,000 to close to $40,000 now, it definitely hurts everybody,” said Bohnen.

With the high price of gas, credit cards fees are higher – about 15 cents on the dollar. Bohnen says his profit margin is about the same. The MSSCA says they are selling fewer items because people are cutting back and operating costs, like most everything else, are up.

And – to prevent taking an extra hit from drive-offs, most every station has started a pre-pay system.

“You are talking about to fill a tank of a Tahoe could be $130 and they just drive away and I get to eat that,” said Bohnen.

So just like the rest of us, he’s doing what he can to pump himself up, and stay the course.

“This is the business I grew up and I’d love to retire someday if I ever can,” he said.

Bohnen says it’s actually been an extra hard few years because they sold so much less gas when people worked from home.

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