CASY outside Paducah, IL

we don’t have many accounts of experiences here, maybe they aren’t helpful.

Growing up in SE I had never heard of CASY.
I been intrigued by this board’s analysis.

Driving to a funeral this week, I saw a Casey’s off the exit! We wanted to eat, I was under the impression that this was a general store with a restaurant type section with pizzas and other things. I told my family we would try to eat there vs. McDonald’s or some other fast food. We drove up and my first thought is that this is just a gas station. Without seeing the posts here I would have had no other thought about it. There was nothing to the building that made it look any different than any other 50 year old dirty gas station that you see in Po-Dunk towns. We went inside, there was a sign for the pizzas. Inside was worse, what a dump! It was gross, there was no where to sit and the “pizza counter” looked like something I would see in the French Quarter.

Was I mistaken that I had read that this was a place to go and hang out in small towns?

I did see another in another exit in western IL, it looked the same.

Maybe I am missing something, but these did not look like establishments with any discerning characteristics. I can’t imagine even buying anything other than a bag of beef jerky in there, or gas.

Did I miss something?



I can’t say that I am overly surprised at your experience, but I am somewhat surprised. Nearly every Casey’s I have been in, and that would be a dozen or so over the years, was clean and well kept. But that being said they are essentially a gas/convenience store, no different than a Kum & Go or Quicktrip, Rapid Roberts, 7-11 etc. I would say the defining characteristic is the “small town” marketing strategy. But oddly enough I think what you found portends good for Casey’s. For a few years, after I retired, I took a part time job driving a small flat bed hot shot delivery truck around the states of Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas. I have seen many Kum & Go stations for instance, and many QuickTrips, those are probably the two most wide spread in these states, and of course many Casey’s. 90 percent are very clean with clean rest rooms and cheerful staff etc., but some are simply filthy with staff that are inattentive, lighting that is out, pumps bagged out front etc. I can not tell you how many times I would be in a strange town, needing fuel, and worried about getting it before I ran out. I would stop at a small, lets call it “old school” Kum & Go (Kum & Go nearly always has an auto diesel pump) dirty little place with one diesel pump, hard to get a 16 foot flat bed in and out, sometimes pulling a 16 foot trailer. Cuss and fuss and fill up, drive down the road a mile or two and see a new shinny Kum & Go with multiple diesel pumps, and lots of room to maneuver.
I would think, “what the hell”, why do they keep that place back there going when this is just down the road. It happened to me many times over the 6 or 7 years that I did that little job. But over time the old stations close.

I have posted before about the Casey’s in my old home town. It stood for years and was beginning to get a little run down and dirty, had only four pumps out front. It was built back in the 80’s. Last year they put up the new one and it has 16 pumps, probably three times the square footage inside with a sitting area for food service etc. I would not be a bit surprised to learn that sales in that town much more than doubled with the new store opening.
I think it is simply a changing market for gas/convenience stores. They are in a decades long transition from the old 4 pump Gommer Pile attendant with the ball cap and grease rag, of my youth (I loved those guys) from there to the addition of the beef jerky and candy, soft drinks and from there to the modern large footprint stores, and that is what is helping Casey’s. As they add these larger stores and close the ones like you saw, the company can increase sales for years. And of course being in a rural setting and the only game in town, you don’t have to respond as quickly to market pressures. Again I think that is the defining characteristic of Casey’s. When I think of all those run down stores like you saw, that will one day become much larger modern stores, I see a bright future for Casey’s. That assumes management sees the future as I do.
Just my thoughts .


They are in a decades long transition from the old 4 pump Gommer Pile attendant with the ball cap and grease rag, of my youth…

That’s Gomer Pyle, if you please.


Gomer Pyle, Ha! Got it, only in our town his name was Virgil and he ran the DX station for 30 years or more.

1 Like

Thanks Mike. I get what you ares saying. All very good points, I think I just thought this was something more than a gas station, which it is not. It is a gast station with a pizza counter. There was another one I stopped at in GA. They made “Chris’s Fried chicken”. That looked much better! There were locals in there picking up stuff to go too, so I see how that can happen when there is nothing else there.


The fried chicken is another trend that I have seen over the last 6 or 7 years traveling around the Midwest. It is becoming more and more common to see those food counters tucked in the corner of the local gas station/convenience store with fried chicken and several side dishes. So clearly the trend is for larger stores and more food items.
Hopefully Casey’s can keep growing for a few years. Though I am told by builder friends that, even in Oklahoma, Millennials don’t want to own houses. They want apartments near restaurants and entertainment. They don’t want to waste time driving to the suburbs after work, they want to get home clean up and head out. That probably does not help a company based on serving small rural areas. Just have to watch and see.

Previously, I visited one CASY in DeForest, WI that was very cramped and older, but well stocked. DeForest is a bedroom community 10 minutes outside of Madison, WI. Because there was not much else in town, that Casey’s did a brisk business.

However, my son started college at the University of North Dakota so I got to take a trip from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Grand Forks, North Dakota checking out the CASY’s along the way. Here’s what I found at 3 Casey’s:

  1. The stores were clean, but not up to the gold standard of the midwest, Kwik Trip convenience stores (which glisten inside).

  2. The new stores and restrooms were clean.

  3. The new stores had space for several more isles of product that were for some reason were left as blank flooring (~50% of the store square footage).

  4. The food business was brisk.

  5. The workers liked working at the stores.

  6. The prices were average.

  7. The pumps were modern with ample space to navigate between islands.

Overall, I get the sense that they have a good base structure, happy employees, but could increase their inventory at most stores to provide a better service to their towns and better profits for us.




Though I am told by builder friends that, even in Oklahoma, Millennials don’t want to own houses. They want apartments near restaurants and entertainment. They don’t want to waste time driving to the suburbs after work, they want to get home clean up and head out.

Sounds like they don’t have kids. That has often been the deciding factor for choosing the suburban house with a yard (and better schools!) Has that changed too?


It has been my experience that a yard was wasted on my kids.

If I had it to do over, city center would be the ticket.

Thanks, bulwnkl.

The gist of these posts to me is that management needs to develop a plan and visit more stores with the idea of cleaning them up and reviewing procedures and systems. They don’t seem to be very proactive or, perhaps consistent in this area.


Not to put too fine a point on it, but Paducah is in Kentucky, just across the river from Illinois.,+KY/@37.0711392,-8…