Ames Bids Farewell to Full-Service Gas Station

AMES, Iowa -- In past years Ames had a corner known as the gas station corner. It was a service station on all four corners, selling fuel. In 2019, there is one station still selling fuel, and it is closing at the end of the business day Saturday.

Mark Hansen has owned and operated Hansen’s Sinclair for 15 years.

“When I bought it from the previous owner, he already had established a full-service aspect of it,” said Hansen. “One of the first questions that was asked, would you plan on continuing this service?”

Hansen said that having grown up in an era of full-service stations, he planned to keep it going. Hansen, or one of his employees work to pump the gas, clean the windshield and take payment, all without the customer getting out of the car.

He said his customers who buy fuel at the station are loyal.

“They would make special trips just to come and get that little bit of pampering that maybe you don’t always get nowadays with some of the other places,” said Hansen.

Hansen is selling the property and ending gasoline sales. He will keep working on cars, repairs and oil changes at two other buildings not far from the Sinclair location.

“Just really sad to see the end of an era and the end of a service-oriented business like this come to an end,” said Hansen.

“It’s fantastic, I’m just so sorry to see it go, it’s one of a kind. They should have more of them,” said customer Darlene Nelson. “I’ll have to now, since he’s going to be gone, I’ll have to do that. I know how, but this is such a convenience, and the help is so friendly, so good.”

“This is an end of a 40-year journey that I’ve had literally at this corner. Life moves on, time moves on, and that’s all in the name of progress,” said Hansen.

The station will be the site of a new commercial development. Hansen said he was not free to talk about what the next chapter will be for that corner.