Pilot Travel Centers has invested a truckload of money in recent years building a reputation for serving premium coffee. Now, the Knoxville based company is spending another bunch of cash to upgrade the coffee bars at its recently acquired Flying J locations.
The company is spending approximately $150,000 per location on new coffee/deli bars at the Flying J travel centers.
“In the last 18 months we made a commitment to being a coffee authority,” said Whitman Harson, manager of hot beverages for Pilot Flying J. “Drivers know what we deliver they an trust. They know it’s going to be a great cup of coffee.”
It looks like Knoxville-based Pilot Travel Centers’ take-over of the Flying J truck stop chain is close to happening.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Flying J could come out of bankruptcy by the end of July. Also, Flying J CEO Crystal Call Maggelet told the Tribune the merger with Pilot is “in the last stages of [Federal Trade Commission] approval.”
It’s been nearly a year since Pilot and Ogden, Utah-based Flying J announced plans to merge. When the deal finally happens it will make Pilot, which is already a major player in the national travel center busines, THE major player with 550 or more locations in North America.
That sound you heard a few days ago were jaws dropping in newsrooms all over Knoxville when a certain political TV ad began airing.
For years the Pilot PR machine has bashed anyone in the local media who was foolish enough to describe the business founded by James A Haslam II, the company’s powerful and politically connected chairman, as a truck stop operator.
The hammer has come down hard on those who dared utter “Pilot” and “truck stop” in the same sentence. It’s travel centers. Repeat: travel centers. Don’t make that mistake again.
Which makes one wonder how the TV spot ever saw the light of day.