Back in business: Motorists once again refueling at Maybell General Store
MAYBELL — Once again, fuel is flowing into gas tanks and funds are flowing into the register at the Maybell General Store, which lost the ability to sell gasoline following a single-vehicle crash in the evening hours of Nov. 25.
“It’s a good thing,” said Mary Schminkey, who, along with her husband, Joe Schminkey, own the Maybell General Store.
The crash occurred when a 48-year-old Brooklyn, New York, man was traveling west on U.S. Highway 40 and drove his 2010 Subaru off the right side of the roadway, according to Capt. Douglas J. Conrad, with Colorado State Patrol.
Conrad reported the man’s vehicle rolled and ultimately destroyed the fuel pumps at the Maybell General Store. The driver was not injured, and CSP reported he was not impaired.
He was cited and released at the scene, leaving the wreckage behind.
Even so, the Schminkeys were able to keep their business open during the eight weeks it has taken for the manufacture, permitting, replacement, and inspection of the fuel pumps.
“It was a learning experience,” Mary Schminkey said, describing the hard work of managing her business with only 25 percent of its usual cash flow.
She and Joe took shifts to reduce their payroll, and “people continued to come in, from all over Northwest Colorado,” Mary Schminkey said.
Travelers who found themselves in need of a few gallons of fuel were helped along by locals.
“Locals would give away gas and ask travelers to buy something from the store,” she said.
In addition to the loss of business, the cost of replacing the pumps will run more than $60,000, but Mary Schminkey said her insurers at Liberty Mutual “have been great. They took over the claim and have already made a partial payment.”
The company has also made a case to the driver’s insurance for the restoration of about $40,000 in lost income.
“We will be made whole,” Mary Schminkey said.
Jim Patterson contributed to this report. Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.