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CONTACT 13: Valley man shocked by prices at Primm gas station

Posted at 11:28 PM, Feb 14, 2017
A valley man said he was shocked when a problem with his car forced him to stop at a gas station in Primm.
"I needed gallon of antifreeze and so when I purchased the gallon, he rang it up on the credit card. I went to sign it and I said, 'excuse me I think you overcharged me,'" said Peter Asaro, who lives in Henderson and works near the Nevada/California stateline.
Asaro works in Nipton but had not bought anything at the Chevron in Primm before. The antifreeze cost him more than $26.
"I had to get some windshield washer fluid for our company trucks and they were $6.40 a piece or something like that," said Asaro. "They were totally outrageous."
Asaro calls it literal highway robbery. So 13 Action News went to check the prices out for ourselves. Sure enough, antifreeze is just more than $26, and windshield fluid is $6.70. But the pain at the pump might hit harder: regular gas is $3.59.
"I don't think that's fair to the people at all," Asaro said.
We came back into the Las Vegas valley to see how prices at gas stations here compare. We went to another Chevron at Fort Apache Road and Tropicana Avenue. Windshield fluid is $4.09, more than two and a half dollars less. Antifreeze is almost half of what it will cost you in Primm at $13.99. Gas costs $2.46.
Prices were even better at the Shell at Hacienda Avenue and Fort Apache Road: $2.39 for windshield fluid, $10.59 for antifreeze and $2.47 for regular gas.
"The prices in a remote location like that are higher because of the old laws of supply and demand," said financial analyst Mike PeQueen. "If there's no competition, the seller will try to maximize their profit."
PeQueen explained why the Chevron in Primm has such high prices.
"Candy at the movies is a great example," he said. "You've bought your ticket, you can't go back out, a captive audience. That's what that gas station has is a captive audience."
So how can they afford to price things so much higher than gas stations in the valley?
"We know 15 million or more people drive that road each day so if you burn a bridge, so to speak, with that customer, there's another one coming right behind them," PeQueen said.
Asaro said they have burned a bridge with him and he buys supplies in town now. But many people traveling to Las Vegas won't be as well prepared.