Sheetz on Board Aviation Station

Retailer to open first facility at an airport

ALTOONA, Pa. -- For the first time, Sheetz Inc. will open a gas station and convenience store at an airport, reported the Associated Press. The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority this week approved final plans giving Sheetz the right to build a store at the North Carolina airport.

Under the plan, Sheetz would build a 5,800-sq.-ft. gas station, restaurant and c-store as part of the so-called Aviation Station at the airport.

The development will include many of the flourishes Sheetz has become known for, including made-to-order food, [image-nocss] the company's own coffee, 16 fueling positions and touchscreen technology for customers to order food and drinks at the fueling islands. It also includes a touchfree car wash.

The store will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority board members voted in mid-September to move forward on negotiations with Sheetz for the facility as part of the development of Aviation Station, the Airport Authority said.

The Airport Authority is always looking for ways to enhance the customer experience, said Ingrid Hairston, the Authority's business development officer. This opportunity allows us to offer a conveniently located gas station for rental car patrons and other airport customers. The Authority will also be able to provide a place for airport users to grab a quick bite to eat near one of the main entrances to RDU.

The convenience restaurant will be located as part of what the Airport Authority has named Aviation Station. In addition to the Sheetz concept, plans for the six acres of airport-owned land call for the development of a fast-food and casual-dining restaurant.

Airport officials anticipate a summer 2006 opening.

Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz operates 316 c-stores in six states, including North Carolina, with eight stores in the Raleigh and Greensboro areas.