News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 21, 2013

‘500’ gas stations being sold to Speedway LLC

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — After several decades in business, the area’s familiar “500” gasoline stations and convenience stores will soon be missing from the roadsides of Vigo and Sullivan counties.

Platolene “500” Inc., which operates two “500” Express stations in Terre Haute and one in Sullivan, notified customers last week the business is to be sold to Speedway LLC.

“We anticipate the transition to Speedway operating the two locations in Terre Haute and one store in Sullivan to occur by June 2013,” stated a letter signed by Henry T. Smith, Platolene “500” president.

The letter, dated May 13, was posted on the door of a “500” Express station in Terre Haute last week.

“The gasoline business and times have changed to where ‘500’ Express is no longer able to compete in this market,” the letter states.

The letter also states that Platolene “500” credit cards will no longer be accepted for gasoline or in-store purchases after May 31.

Speedway, which operates in seven states in the Midwest, is owned by Marathon Petroleum of Findlay, Ohio. Speedway headquarters are in Enon, Ohio.

Brandon Daniels, communications manager for Marathon, could not comment on this specific purchase Monday. However, he said Speedway and Marathon are always looking for new business opportunities. Speedway operates more than 300 locations in Indiana, he said.

Officials from “500” Express were not immediately available to comment further on the sale Monday. The two “500” Express locations in Terre Haute are at 13th and Ohio streets and 25th and Hulman streets.

“We would like to thank the loyal and valued customers, vendors and friends for the nearly 60 years Platolene “500” Inc. has enjoyed and cherished working with and serving the Terre Haute and Sullivan communities,” Smith’s letter states.

“500” Platolene service stations became “500” Express convenience stores in the mid-1990s. At the time, the company operated stations in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, according to a 1996 edition of the Tribune-Star.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com