Monday, January 19, 2009

Quick, check it out

We've all seen this tale in the movies - and in real life, too. For some reason, the scenario of recent vintage that immediately comes to mind is from the film "You've Got Mail", in which Meg Ryan's once-thriving bookstore loses all its customers (and eventually closes) after Tom Hanks' mega-bookstore opens around the corner.

It's not quite the same for several reasons, but that's what it seems like on Washington Avenue near the Roundabout since the area's third Quick Chek gasoline station/convenience market opened last week.

All of a sudden, a formerly busy Mobil station across the street is like a ghost town.

This morning at about 7:45 there were no cars parked at Mobil. No gas was being sold, no coffee or newspapers, either.

At the same time, Quick Chek's parking lot and gas pumps were packed. Maybe it was the lure of free coffee, perhaps the slightly cheaper fuel. But for now, the shiny, new Quick Chek is eating Mobil's lunch. (And the couple of times I've passed Quick Chek on Albany Avenue in Kingston and Route 9W in the town of Ulster, they've been extremely busy, too.)

It's fascinating to witness such stark examples of capitalism and free enterprise are at work.
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