LIBERAL — Locally owned High Plains Pizza announced today that it has finalized a deal with Grand Mere Restaurant Group to sell 82 of their 86 Pizza Hut restaurants effective immediately.

High Plains Pizza began in Liberal with Bill and Virginia Colvin opening their first store on Highway 54 which at that time was the eighteenth Pizza Hut in the world.

Since the inception, High Plains Pizza has taken great pride in not only providing great service, great products and opportunities to many employees in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Montana, but for always being philanthropic in giving back to the communities in which they were located.

President Kent Colvin said, "It's bittersweet to be finalizing this dream of our parents through this sale. Their dream was to build something that would help our family and at the same time provide opportunities to many other teammates.

"I believe we have done exactly that and could not be more proud of this accomplishment and the accomplishments of our teammates.

"We would like to thank all our loyal guests within every community in which we have operated, for your long-term support of Pizza Hut because without you, we would not have reached the level of success we have attained.

"We want to say a special thank you to our guests and long time friends within Liberal as you were the foundation that spring boarded us forward back in 1962.

"It has been an amazing experience to watch this brand grow into the largest pizza brand in the world."

The new owners, Grand Mere Restaurant Group (Mike Cherney and Victor Heutz) while relatively new to the Pizza Hut brand, have an excellent track record of solid operations.

They are developing a culture similar to that of High Plains Pizza which is rooted in valuing their people. The process of finding the "right" organization to pass High Plains Pizza's 57-year history over  to, was very tedious and time consuming and with Grand Mere Restaurant Group they found that organization.

High Plains Pizza wants to wish them the same success they have enjoyed as they move forward continuing to build the brand.