Retail

Plaza Tire opens 50th outlet, prepares for 51st

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Plaza Tire Service opened its 50th retail tire store on Sept. 9, 2011. Located in Troy, Mo., the former Child's Tire store has been renamed Plaza Tire Service to reflect the new ownership.

The Troy outlet is the company's first in Lincoln County. The store will operate Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Plaza Tire also operates six stores in nearby St. Charles County.

A 51st store is scheduled to open in Paducah, Ky., this fall. The company operates stores in Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois and Arkansas.

Plaza Tire Service was established in 1963 by Vernon "Pee Wee" Rhodes, who passed away earlier this year. Its first location opened in Cape Girardeau, Mo., as Plaza Car Wash, a hand-operated car wash, and a store continues to operate there today.  The company gradually expanded to provide tire services in addition to washing cars. Eventually, the company began selling and changing tires along the sidewalk outside the carwash.

Local regulations ended this practice, and the company chose to exclusively provide tire and automotive services from that point on. The car wash was renovated over one weekend, without losing a single day's work. Plaza Car Wash was renamed Plaza Tire Service, and its success continues to grow 48 years later.

Plaza Tire Service's corporate office and distribution center is located in Cape Girardeau. , Mo. It is the 21st largest independent tire store chain in the United States, according to the Modern Tire Dealer 100 list.

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