Okay, it’s not quite as drastic as it sounds, but for many people that live in central New York we’ve noticed that some of the long standing Mobil stations that we’ve gotten used to seeing are going through major renovations and ending up suddenly being Sunoco stations. The one at the end of my street is one, and after 11 years of telling people to turn at the Mobil station, it’s a major mental change to try to remember to tell them now to turn at Sunoco.

What’s going on? It seems that Sunoco, whose home offices are in Philadelphia, has purchased 25 gas stations in total throughout central New York, Rochester and Buffalo from Lehigh Gas Corp. of Bethlehem, Pa. Lehigh has had problems with their margins because, as most everyone knows, Mobil Gas costs higher than any other gas in the area. So Lehigh decided to entertain selling those stations to Sunoco while leasing many others to 7-Eleven, a chain that had left the central New York area decades ago but is suddenly starting to pop up here and there as well. Welcome back Slurpies!

From my perspective, I had stopped buying Mobil Gas many years ago because often it was more than 10 cents higher than even Hess, which sometimes vacillates between being the same as or just slightly more than Fastrac and other smaller corporations. It made sense to drive the extra mile, and once I started doing that I also stopped playing the occasional lotto there, which also helps them drive revenue. Now with a Sunoco there that might cost the same as Hess it makes no sense going any further than I have to, except on Tuesdays when Fastrac reduces their rate (although it seems that most of the country actually reduces gas prices on Fridays; go figure).

Of course, from the CNY perspective, this also helps both Sunoco and Price Chopper, which in our area offers discounts of up to 10 cents a gallon if you purchase at least $50 in groceries and have an Advantage Card, which I have somewhere in the house but, after all, I share a backyard with Wegmans so I’m not sure I’d be the best candidate for it. Still, it’s enticing, and with more Sunoco’s in the area I’m betting that both corporations will benefit big time.

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