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For the past 22 years, Marilyn Anderson has started every morning the same way. Out of bed at 3:30 a.m., arrive at her store, Get Gassed, by 4:20 a.m., make sure the floors were mopped, restrooms …
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For the past 22 years, Marilyn Anderson has started every morning the same way.
Out of bed at 3:30 a.m., arrive at her store, Get Gassed, by 4:20 a.m., make sure the floors were mopped, restrooms cleaned, food ready, coffee on — and all by 5 a.m.
What her mornings look like after this week is anyone’s guess.
After more than two decades, the Idaho Springs gas station, movie-rental emporium, convenience store and local gathering spot has finally met its end.
On Monday morning, the shop’s doors were still open, and a small stream of customers walked past the movie posters and paid for gas and other items, while songs like “These Eyes” by the group The Guess Who played in the background.
Little announcements around the store let customers know everything was 30 percent off.
Anderson is waiting for the last of the station’s gasoline to run out before shutting the doors forever on her little store and a piece of Idaho Springs history.
“This was like my social life, I spent so much time here,” Anderson said. “… I pretty much know everybody.”
Anderson said she decided to close at the end of December — having steadily lost money for the past four years.
“There is not enough business to sustain a business like this anymore, and you know — ‘location, location, location,’ “ she said. “You finally just face it to say, ‘Enough already.’ I probably should have closed four years ago. I just kept hoping something would change, something would work itself out.”
Anderson has been in Clear Creek County for almost 30 years, living in Empire, Georgetown and Idaho Springs. She admits that, for the most part, the area has stayed more or less the same. But some things have slowly changed in irreversible ways.
With gas stations on either end of town and plans for yet another in the works, Anderson watched as her business dwindled and many customers eventually disappeared.
“Now they’re putting in the Kum & Go (gas station) — one more slice of the pie,” Anderson said. “So nobody’s making any money — you know, the little guys aren’t.”
Anderson first leased the store 22 years ago and bought it 10 years after that.
“The first 18 years (were) great, and then they built McDonald’s, and the gas station affiliated with that was the beginning of the demise,” she said. “So there was no need for anyone to come any farther than just on and off at that intersection.”
When asked what she’s going to miss most about running the business, Anderson said — after composing herself — that it will be talking to her customers.
“I’m not going to miss the responsibility of running a store anymore, but I am going to miss all the people. It makes me emotional. It’ll be OK.”
She said the property’s future is in question, and only the bank can provide that answer. Her own future, she says with a laugh, definitely won’t consist of taking any time off.
“I’m going to be looking for a job. (Closing the store) isn’t something that I want to do; it is something I’m forced to do.”
Contact Ian Neligh at courant firstname.lastname@example.org, and check www.clearcreekcourant.com for updates and breaking news.
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