quiktrip takes on camelot

QuikTrip has forged a contract to purchase the historic Camelot Hotel site to build what is planned to be the company’s 500th store, set to honor the upcoming 50th anniversary in 2008.

“This site is very close to where our first store used to be,” company spokesman Mike Thornbrugh told Tulsa World. “The area has a lot of sentimental value to us. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate 50 years in business than to go back to where it all started,” he said.

The property, measuring at 257,389 sq. ft., is a bit bigger than the average QuikTrip site, so the rest of the site could be offered up to other developers, Thornbrugh told the paper.

“We don’t have any of the details, but other things will be happening there,” he said. “We’re not planning on building a mega QuikTrip.”

Work is beginning this week on the removal of the asbestos from the structure, with the demolition expected to be complete by September. Thornbrugh told Tulsa World that the city will financially benefit from having the property generating sales tax revenues again.

“It’s a wonderful piece of ground, right along the I-44 corridor, that will make way for a great store,” he said.

In its prime during the 1960s and ’70s, the Camelot Hotel–resembling a castle complete with a moat, drawbridge and turrets–became a famous landmark, bringing in notable guests such as Elvis Presley and Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

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