Nugget thanks regulars with a tank of gas |

Nugget thanks regulars with a tank of gas

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Sergio Talvera, who was first in line to get gas, gives a thumbs up after receiving 25 gallons of free gas at Bob's Shell on Carson Street on Wednesday.

The Carson Nugget thanked its regular players with a free tank of gas Wednesday, footing the bill for $15,000 worth of fuel at Bob’s Shell Station just a block up the street.

Nugget owners offered all Prospector’s Club members up to 25 gallons of gas between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., or “until Bob’s Shell runs out of gas.”

First to fill was Sergio Talvera of Carson City who said the tank on his SUV was empty.

“I was just going to put $3 in it but now I can fill up,” he said.

Talvera put 19.3 gallons in – worth a total of $65 even.

Wayne Manning, right behind Talvera, did even better, pumping 24 gallons into his Dodge RAM2500 pick-up.

Station owner Bob Lamkin said the gas give away was fun. He compared it to the special 98 cent a gallon deal he and Texaco were able to offer customers eight years ago when the station finally replaced its old, leaking underground tanks and reopened for business after two years with no pumps.

Wednesday’s give away, he said, was the Nugget’s idea to reward their regular customers.

“It’s their promotion, not mine but what I get out of it is, hopefully, goodwill.”

Kelly Brant of the Nugget said he and Lamkin put together the plan Sunday and Monday.

Word spread quickly. Brant said since the gas give away was announced two days ago, another 87 people had signed up as Prospector’s Club members. The club now has more than 50,000 members living in the Carson City-Minden-Gardnerville area.

And by the time Lamkin started pumping at 1 p.m., there were more than 40 cars in line around the block and down to the Nugget

“These days, gas is almost as valuable as gold so we thought it was a great match,” Brant said.

They chose 25 gallons to handle the largest gas tanks on most private vehicles, in effect offering customers a free fill-up.

He said he was planning to head up the block to Bob’s Shell with bottled water for those waiting in line in the hot weather.

“It’s something we’ve been kicking around for a while. We also wanted to create some excitement downtown, create more awareness about the downtown before the bypass goes through.”

Brant said downtown businesses are working together to build the image of downtown and help each other succeed.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.