New owners reopen AM-PM Mini Mart

In addition to the new pumps, gas tanks, hoses and plumbing, the AM-PM Mini Market at the junction of Carson and William streets has new owners.

Mike Harris and Victor Honein purchased the property from Atlantic Richfield about the time the remodeling started four months ago.

The franchise was purchased from ARCO, and the business opened under new management at 9 a.m. Sunday.

"Now we buy our gas from ARCO," Harris said. "We own the property, but we're governed by their policies."

The place was hopping Wednesday as customers filled up at the pumps, then wandered into the convenience store, which looks much the same. That, too, will change.

A complete remodel and expansion, about 25 feet to the south, should start around January. Barring problems with the permitting process, the project should be completed in 60 to 90 days, Harris said.

Originally from Lebanon, Harris moved here in 1961 to go to college. He owned and operated a nightclub called Athens West in Portland, Ore., after graduation. He sold the business and moved to the San Francisco bay area in 1974.

He operated a real estate firm in Fremont for 28 years and retired on his birthday, April 1.

He said he took on the new business to keep himself busy.

"This is very exciting, very different. If you like people, this is a good business," he said. "Victor and I love Carson City. The people are so nice. I've been standing there on the (gas pump) island, talking to people and helping them out."

Honein moved to the United States from Lebanon in 1985.

"I lived in a country torn by war," he said. "I left for better opportunities."

He holds a master's degree and a doctorate in civil engineering from Stanford University and founded his own high-tech company in 1993.

The company, which specialized in research and development, contracted with a federal agency called the Defense Advance Research Project Agency. He sold it and now lives in Carson City.

"This is a little change for me, but I like the laid-back atmosphere," Honein said. "My father was a businessman.

"This is the first time I've owned a gas station, but I've been in some type of retail business for much of my life," he said.


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