A pair of neighboring gas stations in western Virginia have slashed their prices to under $3 a gallon in a “friendly competition” to help their community in the face of sky-high gas prices nationwide.
GB and One Stop Mart are two neighboring gas stations on Main Street in Altavista, Virginia, about 25 miles south of Lynchburg and about 120 miles west of Richmond. The two stations have cut prices well below the national and statewide averages as part of an ongoing battle to see which business can offer the lowest price in town. The owners have described the price war as a “friendly competition” between two businesses, and as a way to help give back to their community.
“It’s… a good way to give back to the community, even though we’re going down with the gas prices,” GB Fuel Manager Andy Gill told Lynchburg-based ABC affiliate WSET. “Look at the gas prices over the last year where they’ve gone.”
Gill said he prides himself on having the cheapest gas prices in town. “It makes a lot of sense, just to sometimes sacrifice your profits to protect the business model that you established,” he said. “It’s very important to us.”
Local news outlet The Altavista Journal reported Thursday that GB was charging customers paying in cash just $2.83 for a gallon of regular gasoline. At the same time, a customer told the outlet that he saw One Stop Mart’s price set at $2.99, and a nearby Walmart gas station at $3.25. Another nearby gas station had prices closer to normal levels, with its price for regular set at $3.99, the outlet reported.
Lucinda Davis, owner of One Stop Mart, told WSET that the rivalry is friendly, spurred on by GB’s lower prices for gas.
“It’s just a friendly competition between two business owners,” Davis said. “He decided to lower down, so I just come down too.”
Davis agreed that cutting prices was a way to give back to the community. “We just try to give back to the community, give back to Altavista,” she said. “Help the schools, help the police department.” Davis also said that the two competitors sometimes “don’t see eye-to-eye,” and that there has been some conflict over social media, but that they were both trying to accomplish the same thing, and she harbors no ill will. “I like him, I think he’s a good person,” Davis said of Gill. “I mean, really, he’s giving me the will to keep going.”
The prices at the two gas stations are well below both the national average and the statewide average in Virginia. According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of gas sits at $4.382 a gallon. The average price in Virginia currently sits at about $4.157 per gallon. The average price in the Lynchburg metro area is slightly lower, at around $4.015 per gallon.
Gill is no stranger to lowering gas prices, either. In June, when gas prices were averaging about $4.776 per gallon in Virginia, according to AAA, GB Altavista posted a picture to Facebook advertising gas at $3.99 per gallon.
The station then continued to lower prices, posting again on Wednesday with a picture showing gas prices at just $2.99 per gallon.
“2.99 cash at GB we love gas wars since 2012!” the post read. “Its kinda our thing part of our history!” Gill also linked to an article from The Roanoke Times, in which another station he managed made headlines in 2016 for charging just $1.29 a gallon, more than 50 cents below the local average on $1.83 at the time.