Monday, June 29, 2009

Farewell Columbia Exxon Farewell

Columbia lost another business that had been there from day one; Columbia Exxon. There are several Exxon Stations in and around Columbia but this particular one had the distinct privilege of holding the title of Columbia Exxon for 42 years at the southwest corner of Little Patuxent Parkway and Banneker Road.
This was one of the only stations that still offered "Full Serve" Pumps. Full Serve is where a Gas Station Attendant pumps the gas for you without you leaving the comfort of your car. My Mother utilized this service when I was a little kid eventually getting with the times around '91 or '92. Needless to say, she used Columbia Exxon a lot.
Columbia Exxon was far more than just a filling station. It had a Car Wash, Convenience Store, Waterloo Pizza and Subs, Western Union Telegram, Rental Cars, Courtesy Shuttle, and a whopping 12 service bays.
Growing up, our cars were, for lack of a better word old. Living in Vantage Point we obviously gave Columbia Exxon a LOT of business to keep our old cars on the road. Our cars died each with well over 100,000 miles and each well over a decade old. With us having new cars, the need to use Columbia Exxon dwindled. With the exception of me constantly blowing tires and oil changes we didn't need the services of Columbia Exxon. Also, more and more Gas Stations opened up and their gas prices were cheaper.
I shared my story of Columbia Exxon because I think it reflects that of many Columbia Residents and their habits. Columbia became a wealthier area where people don't hold onto their cars like they used to making the need to get their cars serviced became less of a necessity. Car Dealers eventually became the neighborhood Mechanic offering free scheduled maintenance to lure customers.
With higher gas prices and the loss of people holding onto their cars left Columbia Exxon vulnerable. With such a large complex operation it became harder and harder to turn a profit. Oil companies raising gas prices sky high has not helped gas station owners. Maybe the owner of Columbia Exxon decided to retire and in this economy was unable to find a buyer and just threw in the towel.I can only speculate why the Station closed but what I can say is; Farewell Columbia Exxon, Farewell

1 comment:

Pat Hiban said...

I was wondering what happened there. I believe the same owner's had that piece for a long time.
It's had a nasty reputation in the past but has had incredible traffic.
I guess what used to be considered downtown is now considered outskirts for business like this one.