TravelCenters of America Signs First Franchise Agreement for its TA Express Brand
Four TA Express Locations Expected Within 12 Months
TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters) (Nasdaq: TA), nationwide operator of the TA®, Petro Stopping Centers® and TA Express® travel center networks, has signed an agreement with Heinz, Inc., operator of Coffee Cup Fuel Stops, to convert four of its Coffee Cup locations to TA Express.
The first of four existing locations that will become TA Express is located at I-94/ ND Hwy 3, Exit 200 in North Dakota. This regional favorite was the first Coffee Cup Fuel Stop and will be the first of the four to join TA’s nationwide network of 257 travel centers. The TA Express branding is expected to take place by the end of April, with three more locations following suit within 12 months. The remaining Coffee Cup Fuel Stops converting to TA Express are in South Dakota (Vermillion, Summit and Hot Springs). Heinz, Inc. also plans to build two new TA Express travel centers, in Rapid City and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in coming years.
“We are proud to welcome these Coffee Cup Fuel Stops to the TravelCenters and TA Express network,” said Barry Richards, President and COO of TravelCenters. “We launched the TA Express brand to provide professional drivers the benefits of our full-service network in areas where large truck stops like our TA and Petro travel centers are not feasible. These existing Coffee Cup Fuel Stops are well suited for the TA Express brand, and we are always glad when we can expand our network and offer more amenities to our customers.”
Tom Heinz, President of Heinz, Inc. dba Coffee Cup Travel Plazas, is a veteran in the petroleum industry and a member of the NATSO (National Association of Truck Stop Operators) Foundation Board of Directors. “We’re very eager to join the TravelCenters and TA Express network,” said Heinz. “Being a part of the TravelCenters fueling system will allow us to participate in trucking fleet fueling contracts and grow our business in a way we weren’t able to on our own. Professional drivers and fleets trust the TA, Petro and TA Express brands, and now our travel plazas can be a part of this iconic network.”
Plans for improvements and amenities to be added to the Steele location include the addition of a Cinnabon®, five more driver showers and a three-bay TA Truck Service shop. Professional drivers will also be able to earn and redeem UltraONE® loyalty program points at all of the rebranded locations.
About TravelCenters of America LLC: TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters), headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, conducts business in 43 states and Canada, principally under the TA®, Petro Stopping Centers® and TA Express® brands. For more information on TA and Petro, please visit www.ta-petro.com.
About Heinz, Inc., dba Coffee Cup Travel Plazas: Coffee Cup Fuel Stops were co-founded by Tom Heinz in 1981. The Steele, North Dakota location was the first travel plaza. The brand then expanded to South Dakota and Wyoming. Mr. Heinz has been very active in serving the trucking industry through his roles on the Board of Directors (past chairman) of the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO), the Board of Directors (current treasurer) for St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund and a member of the David Nelson Petroleum Marketers 300 Study Group.