AMS Energy will premier the “C-PAG” in Allegany County
By Andrew Harris
The American gas station business model has changed dramatically over the last three decades. In the 1980’s, nearly all gas stations were full service. You pulled up, ran over the hose which rang a bell inside the station and a employee came out. They pumped the gas, checked your oil, and cleared your windshield off, and would even add wiper fluid or a little 10W30 if your oil was low. Those days are over.
“Gas stations have declined significantly since 1994, dropping from more 200,000 locations to fewer than 125,000 in 2016.” – AMS Energy
Ethan Henderson, CEO of AMS Energy has watched the metamorphosis: From the end of the “mom and pop station” to “the current convenience store model” to the current push for electric vehicles. Henderson, like many in his industry, realize that the days of building gas stations are ending. “We are on a bridge,” explained the energy executive, and we all must acknowledge that building traditional gas stations has largely ended.
AMS realized this many years ago and made industry history with their supplier, U-Fuel Inc. by providing the “first above-ground fuel in the United States,” according to Henderson. The flagship product called a PAG, which stands for “Portable Above-Ground fueling Station,” that was first install in rural Nevada. Residents had local gas station and everyone had to drive over twenty miles to refuel. AMS found a partner that was excited about the installation of the first portable US gas station. The locals loved it, the business was very popular and solved a major problem for consumers.
“We believe we are the standard,” Ethan Henderson proudly states when getting into the nitty gritty of what a PAG is. The first important part of this product is the big, expensive, environmental problem that PAG’s solve: Underground tanks. The modern gas station requires massive underground storage tanks which cost millions of dollars to install, maintain, and eventually repair over their lifetime. The future of gas stations will use an above ground solution, one that can be placed just about anywhere and removed just as easily. AMS Energy has invested its resources in developing its vision, depicted in what you see in the picture below:
The PAG is built in a factory and with very high standards. Henderson explains that AMS has engineered this product to exceed all safety regulations, building codes, and environmental restrictions. The PAG is “100% self-contained,” and mitigates nearly all the environmental concerns of underground storage. A standard PAG holds about 12,000 gallons of fuel and allows a user to pay for fuel at the pump, or inside. From AmsPags.com :
- Only wholistic above ground fuel delivery system approved for retail use in the U.S.
- Cost effective alternative to traditional retail fuel delivery
- 80% lower startup costs for a retail gas station
- Footprint of less than 900 sq ft
- Environmentally safe, EPA approved
AMS has been doing very well as the industry leader and standard in above-ground fuel tank technology. Henderson explains that the company and its manufacturing arm have PAG’s around the globe that service private, municipal, government, and military customers. Like most successful and innovative companies, they are simultaneously preparing for the future. That next innovation is called the “C-PAG, or Convenience Portable Above Ground gas station, which includes a 1,200 square foot retail store.
This is where the “town where history lives,” Angelica NY, comes into the picture. The former “Harris Grocery” store in downtown Angelica has been vacant for several years and for sale. A partner of Henderson forwarded him the real estate listing and after some basic market research, it appeared to be the perfect opportunity for AMS Energy.
“This is our vision,” Henderson explains that Angelica is where the company will debut the new “C-PAG” product in the United States. Like the PAG, the entire unit is a pre-engineered product that can be installed and operating in a matter of days. It is manufactured to exceed local building codes and will provide customers staple products and seasonal inventories. AMS has been pursuing many regional and national retailers regarding the supply of goods inside the store and hope to hear from more soon. Henderson expects the company’s first C-PAG to be up and operational in Angelica by the middle of this year.
Once operational, AMS will use the station as a model and will start implementing some of the retail business ideas that Henderson is excited about. Like the gas station market, small towns have also been losing their banks, creating an opportunity. “We’d love to be able to provide a banking kiosk for customers and other local businesses to make deposits or grab some cash,” Henderson said.
Amazon.com is also already a big part of the discussion as well. The new station could be a great “Amazon pickup site,” and allow rural customers to get products faster. Henderson reports that an “Amazon-like” partner is a possible supplier to stock the convenience store with products.
Angelica is about to become home to multiple cutting-edge innovations, again making history. Henderson makes a point to explain that this project wouldn’t have happened without the first contractor he called to talk about demolishing the old Harris Grocery, Cyrco Construction.
Henderson called owner Adam Cyr for a quote on the project, not realizing that Cyr was also an Allegany County Legislator. As the project progressed, AMS awarded the demo job to Cyrco and found a fierce advocate for doing business in Allegany County.
“Adam has been a tremendous asset. I really don’t think that we could have gotten this done without him. He helped us with everything from site preparation to permitting, but most of all he gave us confidence to move forward in the county.”
Cyr is thankful to Henderson and AMS Energy for giving Allegany County a chance:
“My business is construction but my real passion is making this county a better place to live. To bring a new business to Allegany county is a great opportunity, and my job as an elected official. This is an exciting company and they have my full support.”
With the site clear, the only real obstacle to installing the flagship C-PAG is mother nature. AMS would rather wait for the risk of severe freeze/thaw cycle to pass before installing the concrete foundation.
Stay tuned for more updates from Henderson and AMS on the grand opening date, possible banking partners, and the many options possible with Amazon.com.
Read our previous reporting on AMS Energy’s Angelica plan: