A 1st Stop for E85 in Boulder County, Colo.

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A 1st Stop for E85 in Boulder County, Colo.

LONGMONT, Colo. -- 1st Stop and Farm Crest convenience stores, a Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska chain owned by Denver-based Pester Marketing Co., has partnered with the Governor's Biofuels Coalition to open the first E85 ethanol station in Boulder County and the first for Longmont, Pester Marketing reported.

The announcement was made at the grand opening of Longmont 1st Stop location on Aug. 30, which featured U.S. Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave and Colorado Secretary of Agriculture John Stulp, both arriving in a flex fuel vehicle.

E85 is a blended mixture of 85-percent ethanol and 15-percent unleaded gasoline. The several thousand flex fuel vehicles, which use E85 or regular gasoline, located in this area can now refuel on E85 at the station.

The press conference centered around Pester Marketing's partnership with the Governor's Biofuels Coalition to bring E85 to 12 of its 41 Colorado locations within the next year, six of which are already in operation. The group's goal is to open 50 stations by the end of the year.

"Early on, we made the strategic decision to invest in the infrastructure needed to provide E85 to Colorado," said Rich Spresser, executive vice president of Pester Marketing, in a company statement. "In a market where convenient store decisions are based primarily on geography, we wanted an additional point of brand differentiation, something that might get customers to drive a bit out of their way for all-natural dairy products and environmentally friendly fuel."

The event was open to the public and featured alternative fuels experts, FFVs and E85 information.

Service stations interested in installing E85 or biodiesel pumping infrastructure may be eligible for up to $15,000, as well as marketing support, through the Governor's Biofuels Coalition. Applicants may also be eligible for tax credits from the state and federal governments that may cover up to 74 percent of costs.

Pester Marketing owns and operates 51 1st Stop or Farm Crest Dairy locations in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. The company has owned and operated service stations and stores in Colorado under the Fina, Pester and Coastal brands since 1975.

Pester Marketing is a wholesale supplier of branded and unbranded petroleum products, including Phillips 66.