TravelCenters of America Inc. announced the acquisition of two travel center locations for $45 million. Located along the Interstate 81 corridor in Virginia, Petro Raphine and TA Lexington have been successful TA franchise locations since 2011. TA expects to realize significantly more cashflow from owning these locations than as franchise locations and forecasts these locations will generate approximately $9 million of site-level EBITDA in 2023.
The Petro Raphine site is currently under renovation to add 170 new truck parking spaces and expand existing retail space. Following the renovation, which is anticipated to be completed this summer, Petro Raphine is expected to be one of the nation’s largest travel centers based on its 900 truck parking spaces.
“Investing in growth through the addition of company-owned sites is one of our key priorities for capital deployment this year,” said Jonathan Pertchik, chief executive officer of TA. “Located along a busy and strategic highway corridor which serves professional truck drivers, four-wheel travelers, and the local communities, we expect these sites to exceed our minimum return thresholds. With the size and breadth of offerings at Petro Raphine, we are adding a flagship location to our company-owned sites and will also benefit from the experienced managers at these locations joining our company.”
TravelCenters of America Inc. is the nation’s largest publicly traded full-service travel center network. Founded in 1972 and headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, its more than 18,000 team members serve guests in over 275 locations in 44 states and Canada, principally under the TA®, Petro Stopping Centers® and TA Express® brands.
FreightWaves.com conducted a survey to determine the favorite truck stops in the country and asked drivers to rank four of the largest and most unique truck stops in the U.S., including chains and independent businesses.
Here are the results:
Iowa 80 (Walcott, Iowa)
This Iowa stop topped the list. With 900 parking spots for tractor-trailers and a wide variety of services, the Iowa 80 has earned the title of the “World’s Largest Truck Stop.” It also earned the top ranking in the FreightWaves survey, with 63.3 percent of the votes. At the Iowa 80, truckers will find a laundry facility, showers, CAT scales, truck maintenance, a movie theater, a dentist and more. They can even give their furry friends a bath at the Dogomat Pet Wash.
Jubitz Travel Center (Portland, Oregon)
For truckers traveling through the Pacific Northwest, the Jubitz Travel Center in Portland is considered a perfect spot to take a break and relax. It ranked second in the FreightWaves survey, with 17.5 percent of the votes. The campus has 15 acres of parking with 250 free spaces for big rigs, as well as 18 spaces that drivers can reserve and pay for ahead of time. There is also a separate area for bobtail trucks. At Jubitz, truckers will find a lounge just for them, a 24-hour scale, nine fuel lanes, a truck wash, and a convenience store. Located off Interstate 5 near Portland International Airport, Jubitz has grown from a local fuel stop to a nationally recognized landmark.
Dysart’s Restaurant & Truck Stop (Hermon, Maine)
In third place, Dysart’s Restaurant & Truck Stop in Hermon, Maine, received 16.7 percent of the votes in the FreightWaves survey. Located just off Interstate 95 near Bangor, Dysart’s is a family-owned business with two restaurants and eight convenience stores. Opened in 1967, Dysart’s offers small-town charm and award-winning food. While drivers fill their stomachs, they can fill their trucks with fuel, take a shower, send mail, or visit the truck center for repairs and parts. There is also a bakery offering homemade pies and goodies. Dysart’s was featured in a “Saturday Night Live” spoof.
Big Apple Travel Center (Joplin, Missouri)
Drivers ranked the Big Apple Travel Center in Joplin, Missouri, fourth in the FreightWaves survey, with the remaining 2.5 percent of the votes. Based on a non-FreightWaves survey from February 2021 using driver reviews from the Trucker Path mobile app, truckers said this stop off Interstate 44 was the second-best independent truck stop in the country. Clean facilities, good service and quality food are Big Apple’s priorities. The Big Apple Travel Center offers full-service diesel, convenience store snacks and drinks, showers, charging stations, and free Wi-Fi. The best thing about the Big Apple Travel Center is its authentic Indian cuisine. Rasoí serves rice pudding, pakoras, curry, butter chicken, tandoori chicken, samosas and much more.