If a Costco gas bar comes to Kelowna, prices will come down: expert | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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If a Costco gas bar comes to Kelowna, prices will come down: expert

The Costco gas station in Kamloops is pictured in this file photo. A gas price expert says the price of gas will drop if and when Kelowna gets a Costco gas bar.
September 20, 2019 - 7:30 AM

KELOWNA - Drivers may get some relief at the pump if plans for the new Costco in Kelowna come together. 

Plans for a new Costco warehouse and gas bar mean one thing — gas prices are likely to go down around the city, according to Dan McTeague with GasPriceWizard.

“Kelowna’s retail margins have been some of the most generous in the country,” McTeague said. He’s been predicting gas prices for decades, most recently with GasPriceWizard, but before that with GasBuddy.com. 

“Some gas retailers in Canada are making a six cents a litre (margin), and in the case of Kelowna, the margin is somewhere between 16 to 17 cents a litre,” he said.

If there’s any doubt about the pricing pressure Costco puts on the market, one need only look as far as Kamloops.

McTeague said throughout the week Kamloops motorists were paying $1.23 a litre at the pump, while it was $1.32 in Kelowna.

“Costco has its own model and the advantage is they kick up the competition,” he said. “But there are certain things gas bars can’t do, like affect the price of oil, or the wholesale price of gasoline… If Costco could get something going on the refinery side that would help, too.”

Plans for the Costco are far from finalized, but a development application submitted to the City of Kelowna shows the warehouse store has plans for a large chunk of vacant farmland near the southwest corner of Baron and Leckie Roads.

The land is not included in the Agriculture Land Reserve, but the move would require a change in zoning from Agriculture 1 to C4, Urban Centre Commercial.

In documents submitted to the city by WSP Canada Group Limited, the store’s shown to be around 158,734 square feet, including designated space for a seasonal garden centre. The current store is 135,000 square feet.

The proposal shows room for 812 parking spots for the warehouse and 16 accessible parking spots.

The gas bar will be situated off Baron Road, where it intersects with Durnin Road.

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