TravelCenters of America Builds Up TA Express Network

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TravelCenters of America Builds Up TA Express Network

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WESTLAKE, Ohio — Eighteen months after unveiling its smaller format banner, TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA) continues to grow the TA Express network.

On Oct. 16, TA opened a newly branded TA Express in Baytown, Texas. Formerly an Oasis Mart, it is located at 5490 N. Highway 146, near the Port of Houston.

"We're pleased to open an additional location for the many professional drivers hauling loads through this heavily traveled area," said Barry Richards, TA president and chief operating officer. "Being close to the Port of Houston, our new TA Express is in a prime spot for drivers looking for our services."

TA Express Baytown is the third TA Express to open this year, expanding TA's total nationwide network of travel centers to 260.

Amenities at TA Express Baytown include five diesel fueling lanes with DEF on all lanes, 24 gasoline fueling lanes, 60 truck parking and 50 auto parking spaces, a travel store, and three private showers.

Dining options at the location are Champs Chicken, Cantina Mexican, Schlotzsky's Deli and Cinnabon.

The new location is TA's second presence in Baytown, joining the TA travel center on Interstate 10.

TA kicked off October by signing a franchise agreement with Gateway of Kilgore Inc. to open a TA Express in Kilgore, Texas. The nine-acre site is currently The Gateway Travel Plaza located on Interstate 20.

"We've spent many years working hard to build a network of businesses that our customers can trust and rely on. Joining TravelCenters of America means we can continue our growth and provide even more options to them," said J.T. Roberts of Gateway of Kilgore.

The site will convert to a TA Express by the end of the year.

"The alignment with TA shows our loyal customers that we're committed to them. We're here to provide the best experience as they look for a place to rest while traveling across the country," added Brian Hatchett of Gateway of Kilgore.

The first TA Express franchise location welcomed customers in Steele, N.D., in late April. The travel center was the first of four Coffee Cup Fuel Stops rebranding to TA Express, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

It opened its second TA Express franchise in Hot Springs, S.D., on Sept. 10. It was the second of the four Coffee Cup Fuel Stops to make the transition.

During its second-quarter earnings call on Aug. 5, Richards said TA signed five franchise agreements in the second quarter.

In addition, TA had nine agreements under legal review at the time and was engaged in discussions or negotiations with another 10 sites, according to Richards. Roughly 160 other sites were in various phases of applications and due diligence process.

Based in Westlake, TravelCenters of America conducts business in 44 states and Canada, principally under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express travel center brands.