November 2022 update: As everyone has observed, gasoline is no longer available for purchase at the Round Hill Service Station. The pumps are gone but the store and the service station are alive and well and open for business! The garage will remain in place and continue providing excellent car repair and maintenance service. John, Eric, and Hector, along with Sandy, will keep the busy garage operating at its high operating level.
The store is up and running strong and never ceased operating. Please shop locally. If there are new items you would like the store to carry, please let Robin Vanacore, owner, or Gus, the store manager know. Robin and Gus welcome suggestions from the community.
On September 29th during business hours, customers of the Round Hill Service Station found out they were faced with finding another location to purchase gasoline. After 85 years of selling gasoline to backcountry residents, the Round Hill Service Station made the difficult decision that impacts the driving habits of many who live or work in the backcountry.
John says the decision is very sad and painful considering that in 1937 the Strain family forbearers, despite opposition from local residents and the Greenwich Town Hall, went to the CT Supreme Court and won the right to sell gasoline at the site. The decision has been made now because the tanks were 30 years old and by law were required to be removed.
But recent trends in the gasoline and automotive industry, as well as changes in the living and working patterns resulting from Covid are impactful facts that affected the decision. The oil companies are imposing more regulatory requirements and equipment mandates, which are at the cost of retailers, and favoring the larger stations while squeezing the smaller operators like Round Hill. These trends, coupled with the increasing presence of electric vehicles make the noticeable drop in gasoline purchases associated with Covid restrictions unacceptable. After Covid Round Hill’s current gas volume is only 54% of what it was before Covid as people have made different living and working decisions. Simply put, the changing economic model and a significant reduction in current purchase volume made it impossible to purchase new pumps and tanks as required to stay open. For the moment the area where the tanks and pumps were located is roped off and restricted. After the required inspections and test steps are taken in the next several weeks, the area will be filled and paved. No plans have been made as to how this area might be utilized beyond the immediate parking space for the Round Hill Store and Service Station.