Kwik Trip: Doing our best to come to West Bend
Company predicts some opposition

By ALEX ZANK - Daily News

May 14, 2015

Customers fill up their vehicles with gasoline March 24 at the Kwik Trip on Highway 60 in Slinger.  
Daily News file photo 

WEST BEND - Kwik Trip, looking to expand into more communities in southeast Wisconsin, has its eyes set on West Bend.

“We’d love to come to West Bend,” Director of Real Estate for the La Crosse-based chain Hans Zietlow said. A concern he had, however, is that the company may be met with a fair amount of opposition.

Zietlow said he could almost guarantee local convenience stores and gas stations will try to keep Kwik Trip out. He said of all the locations Kwik Trip has a presence, the Milwaukee area is the only place where the company meets stiff opposition when it tries expanding.

And the opposition does not always just come from competitors. Zietlow said about 12 or 13 years ago Kwik Trip tried obtaining some property on Main Street in West Bend, but ran into some trouble with the previous city planner.

“They were willing to sell (the property) to anyone but us,” he said.

City Administrator T.J. Justice said the city wouldn’t stop a business such as Kwik Trip from coming into town. When it comes to approving site plans, he said the decisions made are not emotional ones.

“The City of West Bend makes its decisions based on the applicable zoning ordinance,” he said.

Justice said the city has even shown a willingness to work with businesses if there is a particular issue.

“In some cases, the city is willing to change the zoning to accommodate businesses or the types of commerce that would make sense for that area of interest,” he said.

Alderman Chris Jenkins said he would have no reservations with Kwik Trip opening a store in the area.

“Any business is good business,” he said. He added that he believes city governments should stay out of the way of new businesses.

Alderman Steve Hoogester said on the surface, he would not have a problem with Kwik Trip opening a store.

However, he said, he has not seen anything formal yet and is unaware of Kwik Trip’s plans, so he can’t speak on this specific instance without knowing more.

Zietlow said Kwik Trip is looking for a potential location to put in a store at the moment.

“We’re still just looking for the right piece of property,” he said.

Justice said the city would welcome any opportunity with Kwik Trip and would work with them to find a suitable location.