Vitus Energy is coming to Healy, taking ownership of the gas station and convenience store at 248.5 Mile Parks Highway.
“We already serve the Healy home heating fuel market with delivery from our Cantwell location, but we want to be closer to our customers so we’ll be adding trucks to be based in Healy,” said Justin Charon, CEO for Vitus Energy. “Our customer service model is to provide both heating fuel and service stations in the areas we operate in, so purchasing this convenience store in Healy was a good fit.”
The building was formerly Tri-Valley Gas and Jason Wells operated the convenience store, the campground, a barbecue take-out service, and a car repair business, Denali Service Center, next door. That business has closed.
The cannabis retail store, Denali Grass, is also relocating. The new location has not been publicly announced yet but the business plans to remain in Healy.
“We are alive and well and working on our new location,” said owner Susan Nowland.
According to Charon of Vitus Energy, the building will go through a major remodel. Once completed, it will provide clean restrooms, hot showers and a laundromat with fully functional machines.
The convenience store will offer “a large selection of products including hot foods and the soft serve Ice-cream,” he said.
Vitus Energy started offering home heating fuel in the Healy area with special promotions in the fall of 2020.
“This is an Alaskan business and we understand cost is very important to our customers,” Charon said.
The company began in western Alaska and is expanding into the Interior and along the road system. Vitus Energy took over the former Chevron gas station in Cantwell in October 2019. That was the fourth gas station it operated, including stations in Sterling, Birchwood, and Trapper Creek.
The company gets its name from Vitus Bering, a Danish explorer and officer in the Russian Navy who explored the Bering Strait in the 1700s.
“We started with a marine focus,” Charon said. “We were Vitus Marine. Now we changed to Vitus Energy. We’ve been in this form since 2009.”
The campground that has always been connected to the convenience store belongs to previous owners and their plans for the campground are not yet known.
It’s time to sign up for the Tri-Valley Volunteer Fire Department’s annual ambulance plan. The program is being advertised on social media and residents will not receive notices in their mailboxes.
I’m always surprised that more folks don’t sign up for this. Here’s how it works:
If you need emergency medical services and you have signed up for this program, you will get that emergency care at no cost. If you have insurance, your carrier will be billed and any outstanding balance not covered by your medical insurance, will be forgiven. All members of the household are included in the program.
Cost is $100 per household. Those funds are used to pay for maintenance of fire and rescue equipment. The new year’s plan covers January through December 2021.
Enroll by listing your physical address and mailing address, plus names of everyone who lives at that address. Please advise if there are special needs residents in the home. Include a drawing of the residence and detail any hazards, such as fuel, propane tank placement, storage for paints/solvents, electrical cut-offs and any other pertinent information.
Even if you don’t sign up for the ambulance plan, firefighters would love to have this information on file, in case they need to fight a fire at your house.
Mail it to TVVFD, P.O. Box 146, Healy, AK 99743 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris