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The Positive Impact of Skill Games on Small Business Owners: A Holtzman Oil Success Story

Mar 21, 2024 2:30:00 PM • By Gina Trumm Reinhardt

In Sterling, Virginia, Holtzman Oil has been making waves in the fuel business for nearly five decades. With humble beginnings in Mount Jackson, Virginia, the company has expanded its footprint across the Shenandoah Valley, Maryland, and West Virginia and recently ventured into North Carolina. In a recent interview with Rick Koontz, the Vice President of Holtzman Oil, we delved into the company's journey and how skill games have played a pivotal role in shaping the success of small business owners associated with the company.Koontz's journey with Holtzman Oil began 49 years ago when he joined the company as a high school sophomore. Under the dynamic leadership of Bill Holtzman, the company's founder, Holtzman Oil grew from a small operation to a business with 350 employees. Koontz highlights Holtzman's empowering leadership style, emphasizing the company's commitment to treating associates as partners rather than mere employees.


Supplying 150 locations, approximately 100 of which are owned by the company, Holtzman Oil has a unique business model that leases stores to individual operators. These operators, such as Rich Gladu in Sterling, play a crucial role in determining the success of each location. Koontz underscores the significance of having a good operator who is innovative, creative, and capable of adapting the store to maximize profitability.


The interview touches upon the introduction of skill games in Holtzman Oil's stores. While not a new concept, these games had a significant impact on smaller, more rural stores. Koontz notes that the skill games brought in additional revenue, foot traffic, and employment opportunities. The removal of these games, coupled with the challenges posed by the pandemic, adversely affected fuel volumes and overall store profitability.


Koontz praises operators like Gladu, who leverages innovation to enhance the store's offerings. The skill games not only increased merchandise sales but also provided a platform for operators to experiment with new ideas, such as introducing food options like pizza. The games, acting as a catalyst, have led to improved store merchandise, increased inventory, and more employment opportunities.


The conversation with Koontz also addresses the challenges faced when skill games were temporarily removed. He emphasizes the critical role these games play in ensuring the success of operators and urges elected officials to recognize their importance. Koontz advocates for reinstating revenue-sharing models that were in place before, as these games contribute significantly to the financial health of both operators and the state.


Rick Koontz sheds light on how skill games have become an integral part of Holtzman Oil's success story. The positive impact on small business owners, especially during challenging times, underscores the need for continued support and recognition of the vital role played by these games in sustaining local businesses and communities. As Holtzman Oil expands its reach, the More Than A Game campaign stands as a testament to the transformative power of skill games in small businesses.


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The above interview reflects experiences from when skill games were previously operating in Virginia. The games have since been disabled in compliance with state law. If you are interested in supporting skill games in Virginia, please visit www.joinvamac.com

Tags: More Than A Game

About The Author: Gina Trumm Reinhardt

Gina Trumm Reinhardt