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    Loves Expanding

    New travel center to open in Aurora, Neb.

    AURORA -- Construction of a Love's Travel Stop and Country Store at the Aurora Interstate 80 interchange will begin right after the closing date for purchasing the property within the first quarter of 2003, the company announced yesterday.

    Jenny Love Meyer, director of public relations for the family-owned business headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., said the closing date for the land purchase will be sometime during the first three months of 2003. She said Aurora was chosen as a site for the $3.5 million travel center because Love's wanted a location along Interstate 80, according to The Grand Island (Neb.) Independent.

    "The other piece of it is traffic and development potential," Meyer said. Aurora's "involvement to have us there plays a part."

    Love's currently operates 80 Travel Stops in 17 states and has 65 Country convenience stores. Another six travel stops are under construction, Meyer said.

    The Aurora travel center will cover approximately 7,000 square feet, the report said. Construction of the travel center will take about four months. The company does not yet know what food concepts would be used at the unit, but said several nationally branded fast food concepts are likely. At other Love's locations, businesses such as Subway, Arby's, Godfather's Pizza, Baskin Robbins and Hardee's provide food.

    Love's plans in the next five years call for 50 new locations, the report said.

    The travel center will be constructed on an eight-acre. The property is currently owned by the Woodard trust, of which Sam Moyer of Heritage Bank is the trustee. He projected that the closing date for sale of the property would be in February.

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