BRACEBRIDGE, ON – It is the conclusion of a six-year dream.

San Patel first thought of putting a gas station at 982 Cedar Lane when he was considering the purchase of the Bracebridge Travelodge on Taylor Road. Many meetings, planning sessions and government regulations later he finally held the official grand opening of his Shell station today.

It has been open for a few months now, but with the completion of the in-store Subway restaurant, it was time to celebrate properly.

“My dream was that I wanted to develop something which can bring a little bit more value to this town and this corner of the property,” said a smiling Patel.

Mayor Graydon Smith, Deputy Mayor Rick Maloney and District of Muskoka Chair John Klinck were among a number of dignitaries that participated in a plaque presentation and ribbon cutting.

The project cost $3.5 million and features a convenience store, the Subway and a car wash. It is the only gas station on the north side of town, which has made a big difference for both in-town residents and those many thousands looking to take a break from the Highway 11 cottage country commuter madness.

Rick Maloney was the councillor in Patel’s district before moving to the District of Muskoka councillor role. He is impressed with what has happened in the years since Patel bought the motel business.

“San took advantage of the fact that investing in this community was a good thing and here we are opening a brand new gas station,” said Maloney.

The Subway restaurant is owned by Rashmikant Patel, who is a local franchisee that had a location operating out of the nearby Home Depot and on Wellington Street. The move to the gas station was an easy one.

“This location is great for our store,” Patel said. “It allows us to service our regular clientele as well as attract new customers who are coming in for fuel. We’re really excited about the new opportunity.”