Monday, October 14, 2013

Montana company buys Exit 116 Sleep Inn

The Sleep Inn at Idaho Falls Exit 116 has been bought by Town Pump, a company in Butte, Mont., that has been in business since 1953.

This is one of Town Pump's first ventures outside Montana, where it owns hotels, franchise restaurants and casinos.

The company was founded by Tom Kenneally Sr. According to the company's Web site, www.townpump.com, Kenneally was known for handing customers his wristwatch to time his oil change. If it took him more than three minutes, the oil change was free.

In the '60s, the company brought self-service to Montana, viewing it as an opportunity to sell more gas at a lower price to make up for lower margins. It was a controversial decision, the history on the Web site says: "Many were convinced that there would be explosions due to untrained individuals handling this combustible product."

Business diversification came in the '90s, including truck stops, car washes, laundromats, motels, quick serves, delis and gaming establishments.

The company started a charitable foundation in 1999, with a goal of supporting or helping education and 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Some of the organizations the foundation has assisted include the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, CASA of Montana, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Montana Food Banks, the American Red Cross, Montana Special Olympics and Newspapers in Education programs.