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Latino Daily News

Thursday May 19, 2011

South Carolina: ‘El Cheapo’ Squares Off With ‘Obama’ Gas Station

South Carolina: ‘El Cheapo’ Squares Off With ‘Obama’ Gas Station

Photo: Obama gas station in South Carolina

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A gas station in Columbia, South Carolina has a new look and a new name.

Located just across the street from the El Cheapo gas station sits the newly redecorated Obama gas station.

Though President Obama has no ties to the gas station, his name and image appear all along the property.

“I see more people come in excited with the name,” owner Sam Alhanik told local news WIS. Alhanik has owned the station for two months, and said he got the idea from a friend who created an Obama Gas Station in Michigan.

“It’s the first president of black people. It’s our president. We like him,” said the Yemen-born man. Although he was not born in America, he stated that he supports the president.

The $4,000 revamp of the gas station has caused a boom in business, said Alhanik, as the station completes with El Cheapo on a daily basis.

WIS reported that when they informed Alhanik that El Cheapo had dropped their price of regular unleaded to $3.54 while his station was at $3.59, Alhanik immediately had his cousin drop the “Obama” price to $3.53. Seconds later, El Cheapo’s dropped again.

“That’s the business,” said Alhanik. “I don’t want to lose everything. It’s a competition.”

One customer, Larry Nelson said he stops at Obama more often now, because in a strange way, he feels like it supports the U.S. president.