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TravelCenters of America Opens Second TA Express Franchise

Also signs new franchisee agreement for the fledgling smaller-format brand
Photograph courtesy of TravelCenters of America

WESTLAKE, Ohio — TravelCenters of America Inc. has opened its next TA Express franchise location and signed on another franchisee.

The retailer opened its second TA Express franchise in Hot Springs, S.D., on Sept. 10. Formerly known as Coffee Cup Fuel Stop, the newly branded TA Express is the second of four Coffee Cup Fuel Stops rebranding to TA Express this year, joining TA’s total nationwide network of 258 travel centers.

“We’re thrilled to announce the opening of another TA Express in this region, providing professional drivers with all the amenities they’re looking for while on the road,” said Barry Richards, president and chief operating officer of TravelCenters. “The Coffee Cup Fuel Stop locations are a great addition to our TravelCenters of America family, and both teams have worked hard to ensure a seamless branding transition.”

Amenities at TA Express Hot Springs include Sinclair-branded gasoline with eight fueling positions, four diesel fueling lanes, 70 truck parking and 50 auto parking spaces, Caribou Coffee and Subway quick-service restaurants, laundry room, two private showers and an outdoor picnic and pet area.

The first Coffee Cup Fuel Stop to convert to TA Express was in Steele, N.D., in April. The third Coffee Cup Fuel Stop converting to a TA Express site is located in Summit, S.D., and will open in October. The fourth site scheduled to convert is located in Vermillion, S.D., with a planned opening in November. North Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Heinz Inc., Coffee Cup Fuel Stop's owner, also plans to build two new TA Express travel centers, in Rapid City and Sioux Falls, S.D., in coming years.

TA and Heinz announced the franchise partnership in February 2019.

Tom Heinz founded Coffee Cup Fuel Stops in 1981.

Separately, TravelCenters of America plans to add a new location in Salina, Utah, through a franchise agreement with Kishor Koladia and Dahyalal Gajera. The 9-acre site is an Xpress Fuel Stop. The company will convert it to a TA Express in late October 2019.

“We recognized a need for drivers in this area to have another location they can stop at to refuel, replenish and refresh. The Salina site adds a significant brand presence in central Utah along I-70,” Richards said.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to join a highly respected and successful company like TravelCenters of America,” said Kishor Koladia.

“Being a part of the TA network will allow us to better serve our customers, providing more options including fleet fueling and some of the best amenities on the highway," said Dahyalal Gajera. "We’re proud of the business we’ve built and run for more than a decade and are excited for this next venture.”

TravelCenters of America, based in Westlake, Ohio, has more than 260 retail locations in 43 states and Canada under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express brands. It is No. 29 in CSP’s2019 Top 202 ranking of convenience-store chains by size.

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