Talking fuel pumps new to LA

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Business: Three stations are now part of Giant Convenience chain

By Arin McKenna

If the normally quiet pumps at your favorite gas station have started spouting advertisements at you recently, chances are the station is one of three locations now under longterm lease to Western Refining.

In an agreement signed June 6, Western Refining acquired longterm leases from Polk Oil on 12 stations throughout Northern New Mexico. The Chevron on Trinity Drive, the Shell station on Diamond Drive and the Conoco Quik Stop in White Rock are part of that group.

Although Western Refining operates 222 stores throughout New Mexico, Arizona, Southern Colorado and West Texas — known as Giant Convenience Centers — this is the company’s first venture into Los Alamos County.

“The transition has gone well,” said Gary Hanson, vice president of corporate communications. “We’ve completed rebranding and the office systems have been converted. And we’re very pleased with the performance of those stations.”

“Our retail stores help us as a business. They give us an outlet for the oil and gas we produce at our refineries. So it’s good to add these stores to our mix,” Hanson continued. The company has refineries in El Paso and Gallup.

“We think we do a pretty good job of operating convenience stores,” Hanson said. “They provide good products, they’re clean and they offer good service.”

And the talking pumps?

“We’re really trying to promote our loyalty program and encourage people to come into the store,” Hanson said. The loyalty program offers chances to win free merchandise and up to a year’s worth of free gas.