It has been seven years since Derek Hafen owned a local gas station. That seemed to be quite enough, for him.

This week, Hafen and his son Jade opened the new Sinclair Gas Station and Dino Mart just off of the northbound Exit 120 roundabout at 121 South Falcon Ridge Parkway.

“We’ve had this piece of ground and waited to do something with it. It’s old farm land. Once Exit 118 opened up, we figured it was time,” said Hafen.

The gas station sits on part of 11 acres, and Hafen said that while the gas station is what it is and won’t expand, there have been several propositions tossed his way for possibilities on the remaining area. “We won’t rule anything out at this point,” he said.

His father Bryan bought the land in that area in the early 1970s, and over the years the family has reduced the farming little by little.

But this isn’t Hafen’s first rodeo with a gas station. “I opened my first gas station 30 years ago, when I was Jade’s age,” he said, which was the Green Valley Grocery on Mesquite Boulevard next to McDonald’s. “We opened it as a Texaco, then Chevron bought it out several years later. When Chevron opened up the one on the corner of Riverside Road, they decided they didn’t need us anymore, so we went to Shell.” Hafen later sold that Shell station to GVG in 2010 and took a break from business for a while.

When asked why he chose to go with Sinclair, Hafen said it was because they have a decent line of gas. “Basically they pump it out of the ground, refine it and then put it into our tanks here,” he said. “They have a pretty good reputation and it’s something that isn’t already here.”

While the basic operations of the store have opened up this week, Hafen said it will take a month or so to get everything situated and running smoothly.

In addition to the 16 gas pumps, the new station offers a pet area to the side of the store, complete with grass and doggie bags for responsible pet owners to use to keep the area clean. Inside the store, Hafen will offer both Coca Cola and Pepsi fountain drinks, a hot deli and even a few slot machines once everything gets settled. Spacious bathrooms and a large variety of products are sure to be two of the more popular reasons why locals and travelers will patron his store.

Operations will continue 24-hours a day and if the traffic seen during the 30 minutes the MLN was there is any clue, this station will definitely be steadily busy. In those few  minutes, nearly as many vehicles pulled off of the freeway to use his station, but were forced to continue on down the road.

“We’re excited to get this going,” he said. “We plan on providing the best service we can to each one of our customers.”