By Reid Cairme (***Reid is a news/media intern, from Kamehameha Schools – Maui. Edited by Wendy Osher, News Director)
Costco Wholesale on Maui opened a gas station this morning, selling regular unleaded gas at $3.99 and premium for $4.19 for a gallon.
The price is at least 30 cents lower than prices offered at other Kahului gas stations today.
Stations such as Chevron on Ka’ahumanu Avenue and 76 on Wakea Avenue were selling gas today at $4.29 for a gallon of regular. That’s below prices reported in recent weeks.
The average price of gas in Wailuku has dropped 55 cents since last month from $4.869, to $4.318, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
The same report shows the drop in gas prices of 22 cents since last week in the days leading up to the Costco Gas opening.
Jeff Cole, Vice President of Costco Wholesale stated that so far, the opening has been met with “nothing but excitement.”
A blessing event marking the opening was attended by Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa this morning. He was the second in line behind a 93-year-old, long time Costco customer.
To fill up gas at the new Costco station, customers must be members at the Wholesale retailer.
Costco now has six gas stations in Hawai’i: three on O’ahu, one in Kona, one in Kauai and the newest addition on Maui.
Aside from the low price, another benefit to filling up, officials say is an added cleaning agent in the gas which helps to keep engines of customer cars running smoothly.
Jeff Cole, national vice president of Costco Wholesale said he is not certain how the low prices will impact other stations on the island, but he said, “Our commitment is to our customer base.”
He said the Maui gas station has been a long time coming and has been a topic of discussion for over ten years.
While the opening of the new gas station was widely anticipated, so is the expansion of the Costco warehouse on Maui.
Jaime Havron, general manager of Costco on Maui said that they will be expanding to add another 20,000 sq ft. to the Kahului location.
Havron says that there will be many surprises for the people of Maui such as an expanded refigeration section and moving the food court to an outside setting.
The expansion is expected to be completed by the second week of November, in time for Thanksgiving and the holidays.