Wayne A’Bell, the new owner of the Aloha Gas Mart in McGill, said he would tease his wife when they lived in Arizona about how cool it was in rural Nevada in the summer.
“I told her to open the freezer door and let the cool air hit her face and that was what I was feeling up here,” A’Bell said, laughing about how he didn’t miss the triple digit heat of Arizona summers.
While the mid 80s to low 90s of McGill and Ely from June to August are hardly as cool as a breeze from the freezer, it was a significant upgrade for A’Bell, who had fallen victim to the overwhelming Arizona heat before he made the move north.
“I had a big business in Arizona but after having a few heat strokes down there I decided it was time for me to get out of the heat,” he said. “I had worked up here when I was 16 and I liked it a lot. I’m happy to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and be part of a smaller community again.”
While his wife Edita A’Bell finishes taking care of their property in Arizona, Wayne said he has already been impressed with the involvement and flair in which the locals celebrate their holidays here.
“I was here for Fourth of July and that was just amazing. You could have taken away half of all that and it still would have been better than what a bigger city like the one I came from could ever put on. Those are the kinds of things that make me happy to come to a community like this,” A’Bell said.
While he had been buying property in Ely for a little while, his first step on bringing his business acumen to Ely and McGill was to reopen the Aloha Gas Mart, which sat closed for about three months after its previous owner looked to sell it. Since taking it over and opening the doors, A’Bell said he has felt the embrace of McGill’s residents, who he claims wanted it back.
“The people in town have been really supportive. The previous owner Gary has been great in helping me transition from what he used to do. I think the people here maybe didn’t realize how much they missed this place until it was closed for a few months and they are happy it’s back,” the new owner said.
A’Bell said he has some restaurant equipment that he intends to bring into the gas station so he can offer fresh pizza sometime within the next year. Beyond that he is looking to bring his prior business of selling auto parts into Ely. But for now, he’ll just appreciate the cooler breeze.
“You can’t beat the weather, that’s why I moved back.”
For more information on the Aloha Gas Mart, call A’Bell at 775-235-7500.