Kwik Trip planning to open later this month

Published 3:00 pm Sunday, November 9, 2014

Kwik Trip nears completion as it comes up on its projected completion date later this month. Eric Johnson/

Kwik Trip nears completion as it comes up on its projected completion date later this month.
Eric Johnson/

Austin’s newest Kwik Trip should have its new digs open in time for the holiday travel season.

The La Crosse, Wisconsin-based company is set to open its new 7,000-square foot truck stop at 1509 10th Place Northeast later this month, likely before Thanksgiving.

“We’re pretty happy to get that thing up, it was a long time in coming,” said Hans Zietlow, director of real estate at Kwik Trip.

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Kwik Trip bought the Austin Auto Truck Plaza and Watts Cookin’ earlier this year and has operated out of the Watts location. Zietlow said the store will fill a need for a truck stop along Interstate 90 in Austin and Minnesota, adding that it will be one of the nicest, largest truck stops along I-90 in the state.

“It’s a good location for trucks,” he said.

Zietlow said the new store will cost more than $6 million, which includes construction and equipment.

The new station will sell compressed natural gas, or CNG, which the company sees as the fuel of the future, Zietlow said previously. While CNG can be used as an alternative to gasoline or diesel, only a small percentage of vehicles on the U.S. market run on CNG

There has been talk about future development for new businesses at the site, but Zietlow said no plans are in the works now and Kwik Trip is using most of its space right now. There are also adjacent properties to the site.

“Hopefully we’ll spur some more economic development out there,” he said.

After the new store opens, the old Watts building will be torn down for parking.

Zietlow promised big things at the grand opening, but dates have not been set.

“When we have the grand opening, everybody in town will probably be out there to see it,” he said.

Kietlow had nothing but good things to say about city of Austin staff, noting they’ve been great to work with during the process and are open and professional when it comes to growth and development.

“They’re just a great group to work with,” he said.

Kwik Trip, founded in 1965 in Eau Claire, Wis., has more than 12,000 employees and more than 400 locations in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, including about 110 in Minnesota, according to its website.