Photo by Matt Stensland
Eric Dorris is expanding out of Steamboat and is opening a Space Station gas station and convenience store in Oak Creek.
Oak Creek Steamboat Springs resident Eric Dorris is nearing completion of a new Space Station to help supply the inhabitants of Oak Creek.
Dorris hopes the Oak Creek gas station and convenience store will be as successful as Steamboat’s Space Station at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue. He renovated the gas station and convenience store, which was closed, and turned the gas pumps back on in September 2009.
“Things are going really well in Steamboat,” Dorris said.
On Saturday, Oak Creek’s only gas station will fully reopen with 50 cent hot dogs and Cokes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Regular business hours will be from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m daily, with possibly extended hours in the summer.
“We’re thrilled,” said Mary Alice Page-Allen, Oak Creek’s town administrator. “Anything that adds to the vitality of the town is a great thing.”
Operators who leased the gas station have struggled to keep it open in recent years. Most recently, the convenience store closed in the fall, but the pumps still were operating so residents had a place to get gas.
Dorris said he was contacted by the property owner at the beginning of this year about purchasing the property. He spent three months researching and negotiating a deal before closing on the 3,000-square-foot building in the middle of April.
Since then, he has been doing repairs, snaking drains and cleaning out the space, which Dorris said included a basement covered in an inch of coal dust from the boiler.
Oak Creek resident Jeff Peters, with Another Peters Painting, was scraping the paint off the building Wednesday in preparation for a fresh coat. He said residents of the town needed the business to reopen, and he hopes it is successful.
“I’ll be stopping in to eat a hot dog now and again,” Peters said.
A new Space Station sign is supposed to be installed Monday, and a large ball with lights will help add to the cosmic theme.
Dorris said the gas station will sell Sinclair gas, and the company’s signature green dinosaur mascot will sit outside the building. By going with a branded gasoline, Dorris said, he will be able to offer and accept Sinclair cards, which are useful for businesses that have employees purchasing gas.
There is the potential for other uses inside the building, but there are no plans yet, Dorris said. The convenience store is taking up about a third of the space in the front part of the building.
“This is what the sales volume will support,” Dorris said.
Page-Allen said she has been very pleased working with Dorris, and she thinks the town’s Space Station “will do just fine.”
“He’s very responsive to what the town’s concerns have been, and he’s made every effort to do a great job,” Page-Allen said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com