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    Rip Griffin Expands

    Company opens $8-million travel plaza in Arkansas.

    PRESCOTT, Ark. -- Truckers in Prescott, Ark. saw miles and miles of open road. Mark Griffin saw miles of opportunities.

    The process of cultivating the barren road into a travel center -- the first in Prescott, wasn't cheap. But after more than $8 million, the 40,000-square-foot building opened its doors for the first time yesterday. "We are excited to introduce a building of this size that includes a host of retail amenities for consumers," Griffin said.

    The center includes a combination fuel operation, complete with Phillips 66 gas and diesel, and a convenience store boasts 3,000 square feet of retail space. Also located in the main building is a driver's lounge, video arcade room, phone room, 11 showers, laundry facilities, financial services and a Subway Restaurant.

    The foodservice offering was expanded to include the Rip Griffin Country Fare restaurant, a family-style restaurant that seats more than 220. "The new restaurant menu lineup will be a pleasant change for the traveling public as well," Griffin said.

    In addition to the foodservice program, the center features a repair shop, propane sales, a weigh station, 12 diesel lanes. full-service fueling and 186 parking spots. The Rip Griffin Truck Repair Shop offers repair service around the clock seven days a week, including oil changes, inspections and tune-ups.

    Rip Griffin, CEO of Rip Griffin Truck and Travel Centers, started his company with a one-pump gas station more than 30 years ago. The company has grown to a $250 million company with 12 travel centers and five convenience stores in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, California and Arkansas.

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