Company News

Mountain Express Bankruptcy Leads to Temporary Closing of 19 Pilot-Branded Locations

Dealer sites are in 9 states
Pilot Co. exterior
Image: Shutterstock

Nineteen Mountain Express Oil Co. (MEX) locations with Pilot fuel branding closed the evening of Aug. 24 due to the former company’s bankruptcy.

Alpharetta, Georgia-based Mountain Express owns and operates these 19 dealer locations where Pilot provides the fuel, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based Pilot spokesperson told CSP. The fuel is sold via Pilot-branded dispensers under a Pilot canopy. The locations are in Pilot’s network, letting customers use rewards.

  • Pilot Co. is No. 13 on CSP’s 2023 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by store count. Mountain Express Oil is No. 50.

“Mountain Express Oil Co. and its affiliates are ceasing operations due to Chapter 7 liquidating bankruptcy,” the spokeswoman told CSP. “As a result, 19 of MEX’s dealer locations within our network are temporarily closed. Pilot Co. will continue serving our valued customers at our more than 800 locations across North America.”

Mountain Express filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March in an attempt to reorganize the company. On Aug. 25, it let employees know all nonessential staff would be laid off as soon as that day, according to a memo obtained by CSP.

After Mountain Express missed payments to gasoline suppliers, which has forced some operators to close their fuel centers, travel centers and convenience stores, Judge David R. Jones, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Texas, terminated all of Mountain Express Co.'s real estate leases.

In a series of court orders Aug. 24, the judge converted the filing from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, essentially directing Mountain Express to liquidate its assets.

The 19 locations are:

  • Cusseta, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Blytheville, Arkansas
  • Kansas City, Kansas
  • Laplace, Minden (2), St. Rose, Louisiana
  • Hayti (2), Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
  • Rockingham, Monroe, Seagrove, North Carolina
  • Grand Forks, Williston, North Dakota
  • Hazleton, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania
  • Cowpens, South Carolina

Mountain Express, founded in 2000, had a network of 166 company-owned convenience stores and 300 dealer-owned customers.

With headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot has more than 800 retail and fueling locations and supplies more than 14 billion gallons of fuel per year to the market. Its Pilot and Flying J travel center network includes more than 750 locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces with more than 790 restaurants, 75,000 truck parking spaces, 5,300 showers, 6,200 diesel lanes and truck maintenance and tire services with Southern Tire Mart at Pilot Flying J. The One9 Fuel Network connects a variety of fueling locations to provide smaller fleets and independent professional drivers with value, convenience, credit and perks.

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