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    Stores Counts Keep Growing

    Sheetz expands its presence in Lynchburg, Va., with new store, while a new Pilot Travel Center could be the start of something bigger for its area.

    NEW YORK -- Sheetz Inc. is opening a new 5,000-square-foot store in Lynchburg, Va. -- its third in the town -- bringing the chain's total number of stores to 340.

    While the store at 3927 Wards Road opened to the public Wednesday night, employees will host a community grand-opening celebration on Nov. 1, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony set for 3:30 p.m. that day. Customers and media are welcome to attend.

    "It's exciting for us at Sheetz any time we are able to bring our latest concepts in convenience to a new area," Louie Sheetz, the company's executive vice president, marketing, said in a statement. "We are grateful for the opportunity to reach out to the Lynchburg community with another location."

    The Lynchburg store features Sheetz's new menu of fresh Made-To-Order items, including cold and toasted subs, freshly made salads, hot fries, onion rings, chicken fingers and burgers all made just the way customers want at low prices.

    Also added is Sheetz Bros. Coffeez (SBC), a full-service espresso bar staffed by a trained barista. Here, customers can order such hand-made coffee drinks as lattes, cappuccinos and mochas -- hot, frozen or iced. Frozen fruit smoothies round out the SBC menu. For those who prefer to pour their own, Sheetz offers new premium brewed self-serve coffees made from 100 percent Arabica beans in several flavors, such as Breakfast Blend, Serious Dark Roast, 100 percent Colombian and Vanilla Nut Cream.

    As always, Sheetz customers place their food and specialty coffee orders at touch-screen order kiosks. Self-serve milkshakes and bakery items are all available at the new store as well, as is a full-service automatic carwash, a new feature in Lynchburg.

    According to Sheetz, the company is committed to its mission of Total Customer Focus (TCF) -- to provide fast and friendly service, quality products and clean and convenient locations. "We look for great, high-energy people to work in our stores, and we train them to be respectful of the needs of our customers," Sheetz said in a statement.

    Meanwhile, construction is underway for the newest Pilot Travel Center, located in Grantsville, Md., off Interstate 68, the Cumberland Times-News reported.

    "We're excited to be coming in," Steve Vanderink, Pilot's division director of operations, told the newspaper. "We're excited to be there and looking forward to being a positive member of the community."

    The travel center will feature an Arby's restaurant, six gas pumps and seven diesel lanes, according to Vanderink, who added that there will be parking for 46 automobiles and the capacity for 63 tractor-trailer and larger trucks. The center is expected to open in early- or mid-December, the report stated.

    "It will be a beautiful travel center," Vanderink told the Times-News, "and will allow for one-stop shopping for tourists and locals, similar to our other sites."

    The business is anticipated to add between 50 to 75 jobs to the area, Vanderink said.

    The business will be a benefit to the community, impacting both jobs and taxes, Jim Hinebaugh, Garrett County director of economic development, told the newspaper, noting that it might be a sign that other businesses will move to the area.

    "I believe this represents the beginning of a trend, and in the not too distant future, we will see additional commercial development in the I-68 corridor running across northern Garrett County," Hinebaugh told the Times-News.

    In addition, a planned expansion of roadways near the interstate will increase traffic, and he expects the area will become "more attractive to businesses," the report stated.

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