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Black Diamond construction expected to finish by September

Erwin Record photo by Richard Rourk • Construction continues at the site of the Black Diamond convenience market off Interstate 26 in Unicoi.

By Richard Rourk

Black Diamond Travel Center is getting much closer to calling Unicoi home as work continues at the construction site just off Interstate 26.

Riggs Oil Company President Arnold Riggs, who owns 21 stores throughout Virginia and Tennessee, has his sights set for a fall opening date. 

“We hope to open in September,” Riggs told The Erwin Record.

Work on the Black Diamond Travel Center in Unicoi began back in early spring.

 “We broke ground in March,” Riggs said. “We are excited about the location. There aren’t many places along that stretch where truckers can pull off to relax. I really thought that Unicoi could use a nice one-stop convenience stop and gas station so we decided to build one.”

The travel center will include both octane and diesel pumps and so much more. “It will be similar to our Piney Flats location, but we will have diesel as well as several truck lanes,” Riggs said. “It will be a Shell station with a Black Diamond convenience store.”

According to Riggs, the Black Diamond travel center will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

“We will have a drive-thru that features our deli and bakery’s food,” Riggs said. “We will have food made to order. The travel center will be open 24 hours a day.”

Riggs is looking forward to  serving the residents of Unicoi while also offering a comfortable place for travelers to rest, fuel up and grab a bite to eat. 

“We are excited to become part of Unicoi and will offer fuel as well as quality good choices for locals,” Riggs said. “We will have a drive thru for convenience and hope to have an app so guests can preorder their meals.”

Black Diamond Travel Center won approval in March from the Town of Unicoi Board of Zoning and Appeals when the board voted unanimously to approve Black Diamond’s plans.

“We are so happy to welcome you and look forward to your success,” said Town of Unicoi Mayor Kathy Bullen during that March meeting.

Black Diamond Travel Center will be located at Unicoi Village Place in Unicoi just off Exit 32 from Interstate 26.