TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters), operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, has opened its newly rebuilt Petro Stopping Centers facility in Gary, Ind.
Located at I-80/I-94, Exit 9, (3001 Grant Street), on 29 acres of land, Petro Gary opened this morning with a ribbon cutting event attended by TravelCenters senior management and location staff, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and members of the Common Council.
TravelCenters designed and decorated the facility’s interior to commemorate the City of Gary, also known as Steel City, as well as the many truckers who have hauled steel and myriad other materials and products that keep America moving.
TravelCenters and Gary City Officials have worked closely together to ensure that this newly constructed facility will have a positive impact on the City and its economic development, as well as provide professional drivers and local customers the finest in travel center amenities.
Specifically, Petro Gary, open 24/7/365, offers:
• 450 truck parking spaces, 62 car parking spaces;
• 16 diesel lanes, all equipped to pump bulk DEF, and 12 BP-branded gasoline fueling locations;
• an 8-bay Petro:Lube truck service facility, and RoadSquad emergency roadside service, available 24/7/365;
• A 160-seat state-of-the-art Iron Skillet full-service restaurant with a buffet and StayFit menu options, and designated seating for professional drivers;
• a 5,000 square-foot travel store stocked with driver merchandise, beverages, and fresh, to-go meal options, including better-for-you snack choices;
• a combination Taco Bell/Pizza Hut quick-service restaurant;
• 15 driver showers operated by a fully automated reservation system, also accessible through the TA/Petro TruckSmart mobile app;
• a FREE StayFit fitness room (free to professional drivers who are UltraONE Driver Rewards Program members);
• a laundry facility with machines that accept credit/debit card payments and send the user a text message when the cycle is finished;
• a full-service Verizon UltraMobile wireless store;
• Reserve-It Parking that allows professional drivers to reserve a parking space;
• Professional driver movie, TV, and game rooms;
• WiFi, ATM, check cashing, TripPak services, and much more!
TravelCenters purchased the Petro Gary 29-acre site in May 2011. A groundbreaking event in collaboration with the city of Gary was held Nov. 20 of last year. In just over six months, after battling a severe winter and numerous spring storms, 23 acres have been developed, including more than 46,000 square feet of building space.
The expansive parking lot—a highly regarded characteristic of TA and Petro locations—is easy-to-maneuver and has 450 truck parking spaces. This the 13th location within the TA and Petro full-service network with more than 400 truck spaces, more than four times the number of locations offering this amenity than other truckstop chains combined.
“We rebuilt this travel center with the professional driver in mind. I hope you will come see the grand driver entrance, the wide open space and the level of care and planning that went into this facility. I’m particularly proud of the huge, well-lit parking lot,” said Tom O’Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters. “TA and Petro locations average nearly 200 truck parking spots per location, which averages to be nearly double that of other chains.”
In April, TravelCenters, the city of Gary’s New Jobs New Day initiative, and Work One NW Indiana partnered to provide job opportunities for Gary local residents. A series of job fairs were held to hire 160 full- and part-time employees in the travel store, full- and quick-service restaurants, fuel business and truck service areas. Since the groundbreaking, Mayor Freeman-Wilson has been very pleased about the TravelCenters and City of Gary partnership and is very optimistic regarding the favorable economic impact Petro Gary will have on the city.
“Today’s ribbon cutting represents another win for the City of Gary,” said Freeman-Wilson. “This is a first rate facility that our citizens will be able to patronize and most important, Gary residents are also being employed.”
TA and Petro conducted the annual independent survey of Overdrive magazine readers in late 2012. The results showed that drivers prefer TA and Petro over the next closest truck stop brand 4:1 for the best overall truckstop category. TA and Petro dominated the survey in 33 other categories, including largest parking lots 5:1; best overall food 6:1; most comprehensive driver services 3:1; cleanest showers and restrooms 3:1; best fitness facilities 6:1; best overall truck repair 4:1; and most competent technicians 7:1. These ratios depict driver preference for TA and Petro versus the next closest truck stop brand.