Success Story
March 5, 2024

EDA Supports Bishop Paiute Tribe’s Expansion of Retail Operations to Serve More Inyo County Visitors

The dramatic landscapes of Inyo County, California make it a popular filming location, with more than 400 movies and countless television ads shot in the surrounding area. It is also a destination for outdoor enthusiasts who are drawn to its iconic locales, such as Death Valley and Mount Whitney. All of these visitors require fuel, food, and other supplies, a need upon which the Bishop Paiute Tribe are moving to capitalize.

Yuhubi Nobi – which means “fuel house” in the Numu language – is a gas station and convenience store in Bishop, California opened by the Bishop Paiute Development Corporation, a tribally chartered corporation, that is providing jobs and income for this rural Tribal community.

Photo of early Morning On The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
Inyo County is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts in the Golden State.

Supported with a $2.1 million Economic Adjustment Assistance grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), Yuhubi Nobi is the second filling station and convenience store operated by the Bishop Paiute Tribe and managed by the Bishop Paiute Development Corporation. They are taking advantage of the Bishop Tribe’s strategic location in one of California’s most beautiful, yet sparsely populated, places.

“The idea was to expand on the brand,” explains Alexandrea Helms on behalf of the Bishop Paiute Development Corporation. “The Tribe had an existing gas station but wanted to brand a chain of stations and C-stores. The EDA grant we received was our stepping-stone to establishing a second gas station and C-store and really building it up it's about beginning the brand and expanding the idea out.”

The Yuhubi Nobi station is located at the busy intersection of West Line Street (Highway 168) and See Vee Lane in Bishop. According to Helms, since opening in 2021, its 12 pumps and 6,000 square feet retail center are constantly busy with skiers, rock climbers, and overlanders who stop by the station for fuel and food. Its strategic location in the center of Bishop also helps entice those same visitors to explore more of the town, helping drive revenue to local businesses.

The EDA grant is credited by the Bishop Paiute Tribe with generating more than $5 million in private investment. Perhaps more importantly, the Tribe is well on its way to meeting its target of nearly 100 new jobs for the reservation due to direct and indirect economic benefits of the new business.

For the Bishop Paiute Tribe, however, Yuhubi Nobi is just one phase of its ongoing and ambitious economic development agenda.

“We’re now working on setting up a business incubator, expanding the retail operation to include a car wash, and planning the replacement of the original Bishop Paiute gas station,” said Helms, who credits the Yuhubi Nobi station with helping invigorate the Tribal economy. “It leaves a major footprint on Tribal finances. It's really helpful.”

The Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program is EDA’s most flexible program, making grants to help communities plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through projects designed to meet local needs.


  • Small Business Development/RLF