Gas prices $1 below the going rate had cars lining up a half mile on Main Avenue in Norwalk Saturday afternoon. But the $2.99 pump price for regular last only three hours during the Shell/7-11s grand opening.
"The people started lining up more than an hour before the noon starting time," said Sam Patel, franchisee for the store. Although he's been in business there for almost six months, he waited until spring to stage the affair. "We already have the lowest prices on gas in Norwalk, and on milk and everything else," he said. "We just want people to get to know us."
The line of cars waiting to fuel up stretched north almost to the McDonald's. Some drivers reported waiting more than an hour. "I usually don't go out of my way for cheaper gas, but I saw the sign for this earlier in the week and knew I had to come," said Monica Pava of Norwalk. "I had to go to the bank down the street anyway."
In addition to bargain fuel, customers enjoyed free hot dogs and drinks, although the chilly, wet weather shifted the demand more toward coffee and away from Slurpees. The event lasted from noon to 3 p.m.
Several police officers were on hand to help direct traffic, and employees from 7-11's national office helped pump fuel to keep the cars moving through quickly.
"We did over 300 cars in the first hour," said Patel. "We'll have enough gas for everybody."
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