Kwik Trip, Inc., opened a new store at the intersection of Highways 52 and 30 to replace the old store on the elbow of Highway 52. The new store opened Wednesday, Sept. 18. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
Kwik Trip, Inc., opened a new store at the intersection of Highways 52 and 30 to replace the old store on the elbow of Highway 52. The new store opened Wednesday, Sept. 18. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
Tanking Chatfield just got Kwik-er.

"We opened at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, so that we could catch people who wanted to stop in for coffee on their way to work," said Steve Wrobel, of LaCrosse-based Kwik Trip, Inc., which just completed construction of a new gas station and convenience store in Chatfield. The new store is at the intersection of highways 52 and 30, just northwest of the old store, and offers a chance for travelers to fill their gas tanks and coffee cups before leaving town or coming home.

The long-awaited new store is being finished on schedule, according to Wrobel. The company closed on the former Val-A Lodge property in early April, and by mid-May, the motel was demolished. Construction was begun immediately, with a projected early fall finish date.

The company had been looking to relocate the station to a new site for the past seven years because of accessibility and the need to expand services - the old station, being situated on the bend of Highway 52, also Chatfield's Main Street, caused traffic to slow or stop at a point where there was little room or visibility to do so, and it is landlocked by residential and other commercial properties, making expansion of services, such as a larger kitchen or diesel bay, impossible.

In an interview in April, Kwik Trip real estate director Hans Zietlow stated that Kwik Trip will be able to offer better service with a new location, including an expanded kitchen, store area and addition of a separate diesel canopy. It has 16 car fueling positions and two diesel truck fueling positions. He said it much better serves truck drivers and the company's delivery trucks by making it easier for them to get into and out of the station.

The old station now will be sold, and customers will enjoy a bright new 24-hour convenience store.

"It's a nice, newer store, and the atmosphere is wide open. It's also much more energy efficient," Wrobel stated. "We do what are called 'rebuilds' when we need a larger, more modern facility. The number of rebuilds we do is probably about six per year, and we've been gradually catching up as we build new stores, too - it's been a busy summer because we've been doing construction in the tri-state area - Wisconsin first, then Minnesota, then Iowa. Since we have our own engineering department, it moves quickly, and that's what makes Kwik Trip's success.'

"Service in the new store will be the same - people will be able to find the same values on milk, bread, bananas, butter and more. We also have a vertically integrated bakery and kitchen, our own dairy, and that helps."

This week is grand opening week, which started with a grand opening on Tuesday. The store will have special sales for people to take advantage of to thank them for their support in the past.

"We're very happy to be able to invest in the community and say 'thank you' for their support," he said.