Road Ranger not buying Travel Center

Road Ranger has dropped its plans to purchase the FS Travel Center on Vandalia’s west side.
Byron Sikma, South Central FS chief operating officer, confirmed on Monday that FS had recently received a letter from the company stating that it was not moving forward with the purchase.
Sikma said that Road Ranger gave no specific reason for that decision, stating simply that it was backing out of the purchase “due to certain events.”
The plans of Road Ranger – which partners with Pilot Flying J for 34 travel centers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin – to buy the travel center became public in late November, when the Vandalia City Council voted to re-assign redevelopment and economic developments with South Central FS and Vandalia Green Energy to Road Ranger.
Those agreements provided South Central FS with property tax abatements, sales tax rebates and reimbursement of Tax Increment Financing-eligible costs, with the maximum incentives totaling $2.208 million.
When the council approved the re-assignment on Nov. 20, Sikma said that Road Ranger approached South Central FS about buying the Travel Center.
The closing was set for Dec. 6, and Sikma said that as that date neared, Road Ranger officials asked for an extension.
It later asked for another extension, he said.
Road Ranger, Sikma said, had proceeded with some of the steps involved in completing the purchase, including interviewing employees.
“They really didn’t explain” why they weren’t proceeding with the purchase, Sikma said, adding that phone calls to the company haven’t been returned.
On the night of the council meeting, Sikma noted that South Central FS did not go out looking for buyers, and on Tuesday, he said that that’s still the case.
“That opportunity came to us,” he said. “We weren’t out there looking for someone.”
That’s still the case, Sikma said on Tuesday.
“We have no intention of selling that (travel center),” he said.
“We have assured the employees that we fully continue to operate the business as we have in the past,” Sikma said.
“We will move forward, and continue to look to improve and grow that business,” he said.

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