Improvements include environmentally safe storage tanks and dedicated non-ethanol pumps
The primary source of entertainment for bored Tetonia residents the past couple of weeks has been the construction happening at Grand View General Store.
“You’ll see 40 men lined up watching the progress,” owner Linda Herrera joked.
The big construction project has been a long time coming; Herrera and her husband Jose knew they had to replace the 42-year-old underground fuel storage tanks, which were installed when the station was built in 1978. This month when they filled the old tanks with concrete and replaced them with the most environmentally friendly new fiberglass models, the Herreras took the opportunity to expand the station’s fueling capacity by adding two more dispensers on the north side of the building.
Those four pumps will have dedicated ethanol-free premium hoses. Grand View has long offered non-ethanol premium gas, but Herrera explained that when a pump dispenses both regular and non-ethanol, there will be some residual ethanol in the hose. While that isn’t an issue for car engines, when people are fueling up their snowmachines, dirt bikes, and ATVs, gas that’s truly ethanol-free helps add to the longevity of the engine.
“It’s pretty big when dealing with small engines,” she said.
Herrera acknowledged that when a few big trucks with trailers line up at the gas station, the parking lot can get hectic, so the dispensers in front of the store will be spaced out a little more.
“It’ll be faster to get fuel and less frustrating,” she said. “We’re pretty excited to get ourselves open for fueling.”
The whole project took only ten days. The Herreras hired a petroleum installation company out of Idaho Falls for the specialized work, but they used local contractors for excavation, concrete, and other construction tasks. After the storage tanks and piping were in place, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality took soil samples on May 15 and gave Grand View the green light—no contamination.
The east side dispensers reopened on May 23, while the north end ones took a few more days because of weather delays.
With a convenience store, grocery, and deli, Grand View often feels like the nucleus of Tetonia. North end residents don’t have to drive the nine miles south for supplies, while visitors passing through can pick up staples on their way to Grand Targhee or the Big Holes.
“This expansion is a big change for Tetonia,” Herrera laughed. “We’ve been wanting to do it for five years but we had to get the inside renovations done first. We’re trying to figure out some kind of customer appreciation day when we’re allowed to have gatherings again.”