Sixteen gas stations and convenience stores across Oregon, Wyoming and Washington could close if retail lease extensions are not forged by May 31.
The closures could result in 163 layoffs in the three states, according to the California company who operates the locations
Carlsbad-based Porter’s of American Retail Services (ARS) — which operates Speedway branded gas stations in the Pacific Northwest — has notified the state of Oregon of the potential closures which could result in the loss of 163 jobs, according to a company notification to the Oregon Office of Workforce Investments.
The impacted stores include Porter’s operated Speedway locations in Klamath Falls, Medford, Grants Pass, Eugene, Portland and Roseburg in Oregon as well as three Wyoming locations and one in Vancouver, Washington. ARS operates the Wyoming stations under the USA Gasoline banner.
The looming layoffs were reported to the state of Oregon via the federal Workforce Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires employers to report large layoffs to impacted states.
“We are currently in negotiations to extend our leases. However, because discussions are taking longer than expected, it falls within the 60-day notice period of the WARN Act. While we remain optimistic that the leases will renew, the outcome is uncertain. The lease for all sites expires on May 31, 2022 which would be our last day of operation at each site. It is currently expected that most, if not all employees would remain on site until the final week,” said Jan Sucha, CFO for ARS in a pending layoff notification letter to Oregon officials.
The parent company, which operates a ARS/Fresno LLC, did not disclose the landlord entities involved in the lease negotiations.
Brenda McDaniel, a human resources representative with Porter’s/ARS, said May 11 the company continues to work on lease renewals at the 16 locations
“They may not close,” said McDaniel.
The potential closures of the stations come as gas prices hit record highs nationally and in the region.
AAA reports the average price in Oregon was $4.86 per gallon as of May 11 and all-time record. Nationally, gas prices average $4.40 per gallon on Wednesday, a fresh record high.
Gasoline prices are up 43.6% nationally since last April, according to new inflation numbers released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.