For the week of August 19 thru August 25, 1998  

Ketchum Main Street’s last gas station to close

Express Staff Writer

g19tex.gif (7944 bytes)After Labor Day, this sign will be gone from Main Street. (Express Photo by Kathryn Beaumont)

As a college student in 1955, Val Parke helped construct the building that is now the Texaco station on the south end of Main Street.

But as soon as the tourists roll out of town after Labor Day, so will the fruits of his labor.

Parke said the business, which he has owned since 1986, will close just after Labor Day and before new EPA regulations take effect in late December. Parke does not own the property, but he said the current owners--whom he declined to name--want to put an office building on the site.

"If I owned the property, I’d keep it," he said. "But the people who own it don’t want to stay in the gas business."

Parke estimates it would cost at least $100,000 to update the pumps.

In October, the Phillips 66 across from Circle K at Fifth Street closed due to the high costs of rent.

Now, just one gas station--Gerry’s Food and Deli--remains in town, and only two gas stations line State Highway 75 between Hailey and Smiley Creek over Galena Summit: Mountain View Grocery and the North Fork General Store.

Parke’s Texaco, however, is the only one to offer full-service auto repair.

Parke said that while he will be retiring, he is nostalgic about the close of his family-run business, which at one time or another has employed all of his seven children.

"I’ll miss it," he said.


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