The Pilot Travel Center on Lovell Road in Knoxville, Tennessee has closed its doors to undergo significant renovations and will remain shuttered until spring 2024.
What's happening: The closure, which began January 22, is part of a broader initiative dubbed "New Horizons" by the Pilot Company, aiming to invest $1 billion into remodeling 400 stores nationwide over three years.
- Renovation plans include extensive updates to both exterior and interior designs, with an emphasis on enhanced lighting, updated fueling stations, and more welcoming store environments.
- Facilities will see revamped restrooms, new showers, and expanded lounges with comfortable seating areas.
- Technology upgrades like state-of-the-art fueling systems and self-checkout options are designed to improve efficiency and customer service.
- Preparations are also being made to accommodate fuel alternatives, with EV charging stations being part of the company's forward-looking strategy.
For the employees: Staff impacted by the closure will be temporarily relocated to other nearby Pilot centers, ensuring job continuity during the remodel phase.
Another Pilot location on Watt Road will also undergo renovations later this year but will stay open throughout the process.
Behind the scenes: The renovation drive aligns with Pilot's transition away from the Haslam family ownership, as recently the family sold their remaining 20% stake to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Now the company is focusing on enhancing customer experience across its locations.
Local impact: Pilot's commitment to modernizing its facilities is expected to benefit not only travelers but also the local Knoxville community.
Over 100 Pilot and Flying J travel centers have already undergone renovations in pursuit of cleaner, more comfortable and more inviting customer experiences.
Note: The company's expanding infrastructure also supports emerging electric vehicle demands, with EV charging stations planned for the Watt Road site among others.