Sunday Profile: Owner of Shell in bridge path will miss his way of life
For the past 33 years Greg and Teresa Beightel have been the proud owners of the Glenwood Shell, located on Sixth Street just north of the Interstate 70 interchange.
Over a period of 80 years, the station has had only three owners; the Beightels took over in 1981.
With the Colorado Department of Transportation planning to replace the Grand Avenue bridge and alter Exit 116 on I-70, the station could be acquired for the project, which calls for a sweeping roadway off the interstate and onto the bridge that would cover the land now occupied by the station.
The CDOT plan says the station is the only contemplated business displacement for the project, which is expected to move forward this year.
The prospect of going out of business would mean dramatic changes in the life Beightel has been living for the past three decades.
Initially, several different options were being considered for the new bridge. Some called for taking parts of the property and others would include the entirety of it. Whichever decision was made, if the project ultimately goes forward, the Beightels’ Shell would be significantly affected.
As options were eliminated and the final design was chosen, it was obvious that the location of the station was going to be at ground zero and would be wiped out to accommodate the new bridge. The plan adopted by CDOT calls for a roundabout to be at roughly the location of the Shell.
Early in the process, Greg Beightel began thinking about the things that he would no longer have, even though he will be compensated for his property should the project go forward.
“The identity of this station has been part of my personal identity for the last 33 years,” he said. “The station actually becomes part of your personality and part of who you are.”
He looked forward to going to work at the station every day — it wasn’t just a job for him.
“It’s almost like they’re coming in and they’re cutting out a part of you,” he said.
His daily routine will be disrupted.
“I just really have never been very good about not thinking that every morning, I was going to get up and put on this shirt — it’s got this little shell and my name on it — and jump in my truck and drive down to work, and come to this station, and just do what needs to be done and go home at night.”
Without having the Glenwood Shell in his daily life, it “feels like you’re going to have this emptiness in you.”
Beightel’s passion and dedication toward his station are obvious. He cares about the work and the customers, whether they are locals or those just passing through.
“The truth of the matter is, when you have a family-operated and -owned business and you put your heart and your soul into it for the last 30-some years, I just don’t think that you can be separated from what you are,” he said.
The Beightels have no plans to own or invest in another station once they leave the Glenwood Shell.
Greg knows his daily life will be greatly changed, and he is wary about what his future holds.
He said he and Teresa “have a sense of fear, because this is something that’s so new to us and this is something that we have to get right. This is something that we’ve been working on our whole life.”
One thing is certain: “I know we’re going to miss it.”
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Motorists and passersby could see a refreshed gateway to Rifle along Interstate 70 in the future.