The new station is open 24-7 and sports a large, full-service convenience store

by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - POST PHOTO: JIM HART Arco AM-PM owner Sanford Jones and his station manager, Laura Williams of Sandy, stand on one side of the large, full-service convenience store, which is as well stocked with choices as a small grocery store. The new 24-hour facility has 12 fuel pumps, including diesel, as well as propane and lots of space for RVs.There were two reasons why local business owner Sanford Jones decided to open an Arco AM-PM facility in Sandy. One was the idea of a 24-hour full-service convenience store, and the other was the fact Sandy is among the top few of the state’s cities with a high-volume fuel market.

That’s the argument Jones uses when confronted with the fact that his presence in this market of a half-dozen stations in a city of 4,000 families causes a dilution of business. Each station owner must give up some sales, and therefore some profits, to the new guy on the block — Jones.

“There’s a huge volume of gas sold in this area,” he said, which includes traffic from highways 211, 212, 224 and 26. “This market is expanding because the population (of the metro area) is expanding.

“When you add (another station) into a fuel market, initially the market per share goes down, so what you end up with is a short-term adverse impact on each station. But in the long term, each gets a smaller share of a bigger pie.”

The new business was constructed from the ground up during the past few months, within eyesight of his nearest competitor — Fred Meyer.

Jones says he has two types of target customers: price-conscious drivers who are traveling into town from the west, since that is the only convenient way to access the station; and drivers passing through town who want some food or other provisions along with fuel.

The store is much larger than other convenience stores in this area, and includes a wide variety of products. Jones even has a liquor license and sells beer and wine. He also has a license for non-prescription drugs.

He has 12 fuel pumps as well as propane gas, pressurized air and lots of space for RVs to turn around. Arco, he said, tries to have the lowest price gas in each market area.

“I’m not trying to drive anybody out of business, he said. “This is a big market.”

Jones also is the owner of a 28-apartment complex and has operated that as a business in Sandy for 22 years, even though his home is in Camas, Wash.

He says he is “very community-oriented,” belonging to the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce as well as a couple of service organizations in the Camas area and in a community in Arizona, where he lives in the winter

He said he has instructed his station manager, Laura Williams of Sandy, to look for opportunities to be involved in community affairs.

“I am a local businessman,” he said, “and I really am interested in this community, and as a member of the business community seeing what I can do.”

In the future, look for a drive-through coffee kiosk to be constructed as well as a large Arco sign that will be visible for miles. A grand opening is expected in early December.

Contract Publishing

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