A piece of the past

Bob's Conoco is last station standing downtown

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Bob Logan has been running Bob's Downtown Conoco/American Car Care Centers in downtown Steamboat Springs for 30 years. The gas station is now the only gas station in downtown.

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Ray's Texaco once was located directly across from Bob's Conoco on Lincoln Avenue where the 32,000-square-foot The Victoria residential and commercial building is being built today.

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Bob Logan inspects a vehicle Thursday with mechanic Drew Moon.

— Bob Logan is not a big fan of rumors.

"The fact is we are not under contract, and we are not listed for sale," said Logan, who recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of his business, Bob's Downtown Conoco/ American Car Care Centers at 942 Lincoln Ave.

Logan understands why the rumors are out there.

"I am assuming any landowner in downtown has been approached," Logan said. "This is a great corner."

Logan said Steamboat is going through "a big cycle" right now in terms of change and revitalization of numerous downtown properties.

"What's coming out of the ground is going to blossom," Logan said. "It's going to be something beautiful."

Across the street from Bob's Conoco, construction equipment is working on The Victoria, a 32,000-square-foot commercial and residential development. The site once was the location of Ray's Texaco gas station, which was operated by the late Ray Barrows. Most recently, the property was home to Rocky Mountain Wine and Liquor Co.

Logan said his property has been a gas station since at least 1955. When Logan bought the gas and service station in 1977, a Chevron station was directly across 10th Street. It was one of nine downtown gas stations.

"I was told I wouldn't last 90 days," Logan said, because of all the competition downtown.

Logan proved his doubters wrong.

With the recent closing of the Shell gas station at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue and the Go-Fer Foods gas station and convenience store at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue, Bob's Conoco is the last gas station open downtown.

That has translated into increased gas sales, as well as more walk-in traffic. Cigarette sales have increased - Bob's Conoco is one of the few places you can buy them downtown.

On top of selling gas, Bob's Conoco is a popular place for locals to have their cars repaired.

"Everyone knows who Bob is," said Don Hosman, who has worked for Logan for 24 years. "We like to take care of the customer, and that's what brings them back."

Hosman called the gas station and service station combination "a dying breed" in America.

Steamboat Springs City Council member and preservationist Towny Anderson said Bob's Conoco is iconic of the days when Steamboat Springs was an "automobile town" that was gearing itself for the automobile traveler and motorists passing through on the way to Salt Lake City, Utah, from Denver.

"The unfortunate thing is the land is just too bloody valuable," Anderson said. "It's just a matter of time (that it will be sold) unless we want to enshrine it."

At 56 years old, Logan said he has no immediate plans to retire.

"Every day is still a gift for me," Logan said. "I feel fortunate to be in business in Steamboat."

He said he still has the passion to work on cars and to help people, and he has not felt pressured to sell.

Logan said there have been numerous people throughout the 30 years who have inquired about purchasing the 17,500 square feet of prime downtown real estate. This year, Logan said three groups and one individual have inquired about the property he owns with his wife, Mary Jane Logan.

Developer Jim Cook said he has talked to Logan and his wife about the property, a move Cook said was prompted by the revitalization of downtown.

"Its desirability will be enhanced as we continue to extend the downtown area," Cook said. "When he decides to hang up his Snap-on tool belt, he'll get the highest and best value out of his property."

Bob's Conoco presents a distinct hurdle for extending the downtown shopping corridor, Cook said, because when shoppers reach the gas station, they stop and turn around.

"While it provides a valuable service in the community, it's not retail," Cook said. "What we want to see is a lively retail environment from one end of town to the other."

There is an appropriate place for businesses like Bob's Conoco in downtown, Cook said, but not necessarily on Lincoln Avenue.

"Do we want to push Bob's Conoco out of downtown? Not at all," Cook said.

Logan said the decision for any downtown property owner to sell, including himself, requires balancing the "opportunities versus what you're doing, and what's best for my family."

"I don't like to go into the 'but if,'" Logan said.

He said he thinks there still is demand for a gas and service station downtown. "I've never had a customer come in and say, 'Why are we still here?"

Comments

Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Any possible way we can recall Jim Cook? How about just placing him on a horse backwards with a hood over his head, and let the horse go wild?

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dundalk 6 years, 10 months ago

Ah Keilbasa - Nothing more invigorating than Sunday morning jocularity.

What's the weather like up there?

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

the days of the gas station/repair shop are numbered especially here, the idea you can grow $20 worth of potatos on a million dollar piece of ground are gone. not to mention when the city and the people realize that all these million dollar condos are sitting next to 16,000 gallons of high octain fuel in underground tanks 50 years old. the next time Mr. Logan gets his liability insurance bill, he will call Mr. Cook.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

dundalk- It's a beautiful day in the 'Boat today. Got your email last night. It was late so I couldn't answer then. (At Brian Harvey's wedding last night) Wish I was travelling, too! My father got to see Ireland a couple times before he died. I'm hoping to go someday, but God knows when. Still trying to make it back east to meet Jenn's grandfather. 96 and still going strong! LOL!

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agentofchange 6 years, 10 months ago

From one rebel to another... Bob, hang in there for as long as you like. Screw 'em that promote the idea that "you got to be pretty to live in the city".

Tom Willman, agentofchange

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Tom- welcome about the non-Anonymous express!!! I agree with you- if the business is going strong, no need to sell unless you want the money and not the enjoyment of owning your own business.

dundalk- Scratch that- clouded up and rained heavily for a bit. Sun's trying to make a comeback now, though. Of course, raining saves me money on the water bill!

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dundalk 6 years, 10 months ago

Ah, rain Keilbasa...The red earth here is almost 100. You should get to Ireland. It's a beautiful country - a saavy one might be able to detect the dundalk slang. Aside from busting my foot (the epitome of a pub crawl - darn the steps) any visit to the homeland is a grand experience. My opinion is that every single person on this forum could stand to "air kiss" the Blarney Stone. (Local rebels refer to "Kissin the Piss" - don't ask) My father, god rest his soul, took out of Cobh, Co.Cork (last port of the Titanic) in the early 40's towards Lady Liberty at Ellis Island. True immigrants - the legal way.

Okay...too much personal stuff.

How was Harvey's wedding?

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

wife and I will be in Ireland this Sept. can't wait to try a Smithwicks, "Smidicks". I will say it correctly if it kills me........ really looking forward to time in your great country, and I know about the stone being a little salty.

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

dundalk, thank you , thank you, we will be on a CU trip, Boulder alum so will be a planned trip with a educational focus, lectures etc., virtually all of what you suggest is on the itinerary, I am going to print this and follow it on the trip. We will not be going up north for just the reasons you mention. I will not discuss HC as that is the best way for me to keep my food down. Cead Mile Failte, God bless, and good luck at all you do........

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dundalk 6 years, 10 months ago

Condo:

September is a fine time to see the Isle. A few suggestions. You need an excellent navigator and a great reserve of patience to get around in Dublin. The must do's: Trinity College (The Book of Kells) the Dublin Museum of Art, Grafton Street, Temple Bar. The river Liffey.

The Quay (pronounced "way") in Waterford is worth the stroll. Co. Wexford, Wicklow are beautiful. Check out the old village of Ferns. There is a tomb for St. Edan who's remains sit underneath the church. The date of St. Edan dates to 632 a.d.

As you travel south, Cobh (pronounced Cove) in Co. Cork is spectacular. There is an Irish Heritage Centre which covers the Titanic, as well as the Lithsutania (sp?) which was sunk near the Irish coast by the Germans during WWII. There is a giant cathedral in Cobh which sits atop the waterfront. The stained glass inside the church

Turn upwards after Cobh, and head to The Rock of Cashel. The ruins date back to the 9th century. Watch out for eastern block gypsies who pan handle. They'll also spit on your windshield and then "clean" it for a fee.

Blarney is about 45 minutes from Cork. Yes, the salt! Then head towards the coast again to the Lakes of Killarney (Bing Crosby sang about the lakes) Take in the green and tranquility. Don't forget to tour Limerick and the "Lanes". It is those lanes which Frank McCourt grew up.

Head back to the coast and take in the Cliffs of Moher (recently featured on Today Show). Follow the coast to catch the ferry out to the Aran Islands. Take the ferry out of the port north of Galway. If you choose to stay overnight, stay at the Pierhouse in InishMore. Do NOT stay at the Hostel. It's very dirty. You can't bring a vehicle over so rent a bike ($15 euros/day) and peddle out to Dun Aegus ruins at the tip of the island. The fortress dates back to the time of the Vikings.

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dundalk 6 years, 10 months ago

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Travel north again to Connemara, featured in the John Wayne classic, "The Quiet Man". Clifden is beautiful and Letterjack and Outergard are small villages nearby. Kylemore Abbey is a great place to visit. There is a functional boarding school, and of course quite a historical tour through the Abbey.

Dingle, Tralee, Sligo all along the west take your breath away. The fields are seperated by craggy rocks. You will also find the classic white cottage (thatched roofs). You will find hundreds of shrines to the Blessed Mother. Even if you are not catholic, they are still lovely to look at. Walk through the old village graveyards and see if you can find the oldest.

I don't go to the North because there is still strife there. Old habits die hard and in all my trips home, I have never once been to the north. I did get lost there once, in Crossmaglenn (north of County Louth/Monaghan) and immediately knew I was in the wrong spot. You will still find the Sinn Fein, IRA and RUC graffiti along the walls. Be careful about speaking of the IRA in pubs. The locals do not like to be engaged in conversation about the IRA.

You can stop in almost any pub and strike up conversation with an Irish man. They are remarkable people. And there is no better story teller than an Irishman.

Make sure you see Boyne Valley north of Dublin. ( I think its in County Cavan) The river Liffey runs parallel along Dublin. Use it as a navigational beacon.

Don't refer to a fanny pack (as we call the little pack around our waists) The term means a female body part. Craic means good times, jokes, etc. Much to my dismay a great many Irish like Hillary. They are also predominately Democratic. I was a throw back since I am Republican.

In the end, memorize the term "Cead Mile Failte" which means a hundred million welcomes! The irish do not say Good-bye:

Until We Meet Again.

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dundalk 6 years, 10 months ago

I was trying to copy over a few pics from my recent trip, but alas, can't figure it out on this IMAC computer I am using.

Have fun. Oh, I almost forgot, if you are on an educational trip, before you leave the Book of Kells area, make sure you get to the library within the same building. It houses thousands upon thousands of some of the oldest books in all of Ireland. Each pew has at least 15 shelves and one can only obtain the top rows by a high ladder. There is a gift store after the Kells which has a post card of the library. It's unreal. Sort of like the library of congress x 10!

If you want to do some genealogy research you should hit the City Building in Dublin. It costs about $10 euros for entry, then you go into a library where people can research their long lost irish clans. The records date back to 1830. The bloody Brits burned a great many documents at that point in history.

Do not be alarmed by the poor standing outside the building. The governmental building is also where one goes to get on the "DOLE"; the equivalent of welfare.

As you find birth, property or death certificates, you can catalog the documents and the head master will xerox the pages for you. Of course the best place to find old Irish birth records, etc are at the parish where the family hails from. I found my 4x grandfather's grave in Donaghmoyne Parish, and although the celtic stone was well worn, at a side glance I was able to make out his head marker, revealing a death date of 1702.

I could go on...but you get my drift.

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Lovesteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

What the heck does any of those posts have to do w/ Bob's Conoco & downtown steamboat? Rosie O'Donnell does a better job of "staying on subject".

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sdl 6 years, 10 months ago

The article on Bob's Conoco exemplifies the true 'small town, friendly atmosphere' of Steamboat. Unfortunately Jim Cook was allowed to comment with his vision of 'Steamboat Disneyland' stating "there is a place for businesses like Bob's....but not on Lincoln Avenue." I can't think of a better place to remember the true small town feel of Steamboat then to have the local gas station on Main Street USA. I have lived here for over 30 years and can't imagine how the 'true' locals feel about all the development. Hang in there Bob Logan, we respect your work ethic & integrity.

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oofcboy 6 years, 10 months ago

cool on with the irland thing,one day he will sell or give his co. away,but it might stay a service station

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OnTheBusGus 6 years, 10 months ago

Aww.. is Bob's Conoco ruining Mr. Cook's outdoor "mall" experience for the tourists? Well, good!! It is one of the few places left to get fuel, a candy bar or a juice/soda in downtown. Not to mention the great vehicle service. I'm glad Bob is still there!!

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

And who's this "we" that Cook says in this statement:

"While it provides a valuable service in the community, it's not retail," Cook said. "What we want to see is a lively retail environment from one end of town to the other."

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dundalk 6 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps a Euphenism slipped through Cook's mouth.

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katrinkakelly 6 years, 10 months ago

Dundalk I thought you were smoking?

Bob's Conoco is great untill you use a Visa debit card for gas and he post $250.00 on your account for several days untill the actual charge of $25.00 in gasoline goes through! I still like having him there for an occasional gas emergency only.

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dundalk 6 years, 10 months ago

I don't buy my fuel at that particular station and I only pay cash for my fuel.

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Will Wiggins 6 years, 10 months ago

Bob is the man. Period. This community is fortunate to have a guy like him running an honest business. He truly cares for his customers. As for what the market holds... The bottome line and opportunity costs will always steer the wagon. Unfortunately, we can't stop the money train. The trick is establishing the "hometown" feel with all the new kids in town.

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JQPUBLIC 6 years, 10 months ago

"hometown" feel with all the new kids in town".. that's the problem... the new kids move in because they love it and then immediately try to change it.... My road needs paved, we need a sidewalk, we need streetlights, we need bigger & better, we had this where I come from, or we always did it this way where I used to live... That's just it, come from and used to live... sorry but the "hometown" feel is slowly being changed into the place the new kids came from and in a few years they can ask "what happened the stmbt I moved to".

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