Big plans are in the works for Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores this year, as the national truck stop chain aims to add 40 new locations across 28 states this year along with an additional 3,200 truck-parking spaces.
That will increase its current network of 360 truck stop locations to 400 by year’s end, spread across 40 states.
Adding truck parking capacity is major focus on this expansion, Frank Love, co-CEO of Love’s, told American Trucker. “Our focus is to meet the needs of customers and parking is clearly a concern for the trucking industry,” he explained.
“We recognize this and are doing our part to provide solutions. Every new Love’s is a new build so we’re legitimately adding parking every time we open a store,” Love noted. “We’re adding larger parking areas in new locations and we’ve been expanding the parking availability at existing locations.”
He added that the truck stop chain is coming off the busiest year of store openings in company history, opening 27 new locations and adding more than 2,000 truck-parking spaces in 2015.
“We have a significant number of future travel stop locations across the country in various stages of development and we anticipate that we will meet or exceed our current growth rate for the foreseeable future,” Love pointed out. “These locations will fill in our existing network as well as put a Love's flag in entirely new markets.”
Love also noted that 20 of those planned additional locations for 2016 will be along state and federal highways in order to more conveniently serve truck drivers in more areas, with all of its new travel stops offering a range of truck driver-focused amenities including showers, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) re-supply, and quick-service restaurants.
The company also plans to expand its interstate hotel business, adding 10 hotels in 2016 – positioned adjacent to its travel stops – to the four it already operates.
“We have found that hotels are a logical extension of the services and hospitality we already provide on the road,” Love noted. “Most of our customers are traveling away from home and we’ll do anything we can to make their lives easier and more convenient. Hotels help us to accomplish that goal.”
The travel stop chain will also begin working with three new restaurant concepts in 2016, bringing Love’s total number of quick-service restaurant partners to 19.
Love’s first Dunkin Donuts will open in Canaan, NY, in late January, followed by its first IHOP Express scheduled to launch in Sidney, NE, this spring, with the company’s first Taco John’s will also begin serving Customers in Liberal, KS, this spring as well.