A Station for the Golf Cart Community
Clark’s Pump ‘n Shop at The Villages, Florida
When Kentucky-based Marathon jobber John W. Clark started spending a portion of his year in The Villages in Florida, he found one important thing was missing: a Clark’s Pump ‘n Shop Marathon station. “And a gas station was really needed in this area,” he explains. “I think at first my sons thought I was crazy, but I told them, some people might do a lot of different things when they near retirement, but what I wanted to do was to build another station.”
For those unfamiliar with The Villages, the area north of Tampa offers “golf cart” communities, where golf carts are the predominant form of transportation. The homes even have pint-size garages for them. Clark had a vision of an old-time, nostalgic Marathon station, complete with crisp, white benches, rocking chairs out front and an antique Marathon gravity-fed pump at the entrance. Of course, it would also feature all the state-of-the-art station amenities.
In August 2014, the absence of a Marathon station for The Villages residents was ceremoniously remedied. The grand opening of the unique location featured an antique car show, which spilled over onto an adjacent lot. A local radio station set up a live broadcast, helping to draw in hundreds of local visitors. Attendees also enjoyed day-long giveaways, a full meal with food prepared on the grill, cold drinks and ice cream for all to enjoy. Meanwhile, local residents could take the opportunity to apply for a Marathon Visa® credit card. All in all, the event perfectly set the stage for future visits to Clark’s Florida version of Kentucky hospitality.
“Clark’s new location in The Villages is a best-in-class addition to the Marathon Brand and contains some attractions common to all of the industry but also some Marathon specific collectibles that I’ve not seen before in my career,” noted Marathon Brand Eastern District Manager Randy Flesch, who joined Marathon Brand Division Director Bill McCleave for the grand opening activities. “Judging from the tremendous attendance at the grand opening, this will be the fueling destination of choice in this loyal community for many years to come.”