A second new Jiffy Lube is under construction on the Billings West End, with a planned opening for late this summer.
The new store is going up at 741 S. 24th St. W., the former home of Valet Cleaners, which was torn down in February.
It’s also roughly two miles away from another Jiffy Lube being built at Shiloh Crossing in front of Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Popeyes Chicken.
Matt Johnson, who owns both locations, said the long winter delayed construction of the Shiloh Crossing store, which is why wood beams are being erected at both sites simultaneously.
While the two new locations are close together, Johnson said he believes both will succeed.
“Both these locations on the West End have specific traffic flows that vary from each other in some ways. We love the idea of having options for our customers depending on their specific daily agenda,” Johnson said in an email.
Johnson and his partners, Kelly Thompson and Kelly Kent of Oregon, opened Billings’ first Jiffy Lube in the Heights in October 2015. The Shiloh Crossing store is expected to open in June.
“We have received great support and interest in the variety of different services we offer and have enjoyed good success thus far,” Johnson said.
Billings-based Langlas Construction is the contractor for both stores.
The 24th Street West store will be 4,014 square feet and cost $798,794, according to Catherine Bergman, owner of Langlas.
Jiffy is the nation’s largest quick-service oil change shop with more than 2,000 stores nationwide. It’s a Houston-based subsidiary of Shell Oil Co., but all service stations are owned by franchisees.
Marco's Pizza is looking
Another national pizza chain, Marco’s Pizza, is looking to expand to Billings.
Toledo, Ohio-based Marco’s announced last week that it’s holding a meeting 6:30 p.m. March 30 at the downtown DoubleTree by Hilton hotel to find potential franchisees for three restaurants.
Area representative Josh Holdinghausen, a former Billings resident, will be there and says Marco’s is a good fit for the area.
“This is a great franchisor that is constantly improving its operating and inventory systems to grow sales and become a bigger slice of the pizza industry,” Holdinghausen, a former manager of the Billings Golden Corral, said in a written statement.
A Marco’s franchise owner must raise $100,000 in capital and prove a net worth of $350,000. The company estimates the total investment between $224,092 and $549,092. Financing is available.
Marco’s was founded in 1978 by Italian immigrant Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco and now operates 800 stores in 30 states and four countries.
The announcement from Marco’s comes about a week after a different chain, Pizza Factory, announced it’s seeking to open new stores in Billings.
Uber insurance available
State Farm announced last week it’s selling a new policy aimed at drivers who use their vehicles for ride-sharing companies, such as Uber.
The new service, called Transportation Network Company Driver Coverage, provides up to $1 million in liability coverage while a paying passenger occupies the vehicle, or while drivers are headed to pick up passengers, according to State Farm.
Uber launched in Montana in August 2016, the first ride-sharing service to come to the state. Since then, drivers had struggled with potential gaps in coverage between driving for personal use and on duty.
Farmers Insurance also offers a similar product.
The new, optional State Farm coverage allows policy holders to use their personal policies to fill in any gaps in the Transportation Network Company Driver Coverage, according to State Farm.
“The transportation network industry is rapidly growing but drivers of these services are exposed to new risks. This new product offers peace of mind to drivers that use their personal cars to provide ride-hailing services,” Brad Hilliard, a State Farm spokesman, said in a written statement.
Haikus from the valley
Billings keeps Penney
for now. Sad loss for Sidney,