OKLAHOMA CITY -- Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. has entered its 41st state: Montana.
The chain, which operates more than 420 locations, opened its first Montana travel stop along Interstate 90 near Hardin, Mont. It joins a recent group of convenience-store retailers expanding or announcing expansion beyond the borders of their established geographies.
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Only rival travel-center chains TravelCenters of America, Westlake, Ohio, with approximately 490 sites in 40 states and the District of Columbia, and Pilot Flying J, Knoxville, Tenn., with approximately 735 sites in 46 states, have locations in as many or more states. Irving, Texas-based convenience-store chain 7-Eleven Inc. operates approximately 8,300 locations in 34 states.
The new site features an 11,000-square-foot travel stop with a Hardee’s restaurant, six diesel islands and 70 parking spaces for professional drivers, as well as six fuel islands for motorists.
“Love’s investment of $10 million to build the travel stop from the ground up is the first installment of its commitment to bring competition to Montana,” the Oklahoma City-based company said.
“We look forward to growing our presence in 'big sky country,' ” said Greg Love, co-CEO. “It’s a milestone day as we are now open in the great state of Montana, our 41st state of service. This location gives drivers in Montana another purchasing option in an area lacking a variety of travel-stop services and the competitive pricing it spurs.”
Jay Foley, president and CEO of Diversified Transfer & Storage, a transport company in Billings, Mont., said, “We have worked with Love’s for 10 years. Their entry into Montana will drive competition and lower fuel costs for all consumers. It will also benefit other trucking companies by providing them with much-needed parking and access to the services they prefer to use when they’re on the road.”
The Hardin Love’s Travel Stop, as with all Love’s locations, is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
Love’s company leaders and city of Hardin officials will host a grand-opening event for community members and customers at the new location June 20.