Earlier this month the on Carlton Hills Boulevard closed for business. The gas pumps were laced with caution tape and the Sunshine convenience store was shuttered.
It is unclear why the station shut down, no notices were on the front door and the owners offer no clue. But, an answer might lay in the fact that BP, the corporate owner of the Arco franchise and stations, is selling many of its operations in California to pay for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Arco is known to have some of the lowest gas prices on the market, and the loss of many Arco stations has some gas price analysts considering the affect on cheaper gas options.
A CBS station in Los Angeles quoted an Arco owner: "They [Arco] control the market because they’re low gas. So if there’s a Chevron across the street from you, they have to be close to you. Now there’s no Arco anymore, they don’t really care. They are going to work on any margin they want.”
The Carlton Hills Arco was in direct competition with the recently renamed on the corner of Mission Gorge Road and Carlton Hills Boulevard. Go Gasoline regularly featured gas prices slightly above Arco, but was in a more high traffic area.
It was one of two Arco stations in Santee, which regularly offer the cheapest gas in town, second to .
If you know why the Arco was shuttered, please share in the comments.