Tag Archives: rest

Governor on Rest Stop Commercialization, TDOT Restructuring

By Erik Schelzig,,Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam is endorsing his brother’s right to speak out against privatizing interstate rest stops, a move opposed by his family’s truck stop chain.
The Republican governor has recused himself from handling issues that could affect Knoxville-based Pilot Flying J, but says brother Jimmy Haslam as president and CEO has a responsibility to try to influence politicians on matters that affect the business.
“He’s the CEO of a major Tennessee business that has their interests to defend,” Haslam said after a recent tour of a road project in Nashville. “And that’s nothing new: Pilot’s been talking about that, as has everybody else that has an interstate business — from McDonald’s to everybody — else for years.”

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Jimmy Haslam to Lawmakers: Don’t Commercialize Rest Stops

James A. “Jimmy” Haslam III, CEO of Pilot Flying J and a board member of the National Truck Stop Operators Association, is urging state and federal lawmakers to block further “commercialization” of highway rest stops.
In his home state of Tennessee, where Haslam’s brother is governor, his viewpoint appears likely to prevail — at least for now. Several state legislators, while saying they are willing to explore the idea if it helps the state budget, also say they have no plans to push it.
And John Schroer, the commissioner of the state Department of Transportation appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam, is opposed to such rest stop privatization efforts in Tennessee.
Current federal law generally prohibits states from setting up commercial operations at rest stops along Interstate highways except those states — mostly in the Northeast — where Interstates were in place before 1960. But some states and organizations are pushing for change in the law by Congress at a time when state governments are seeking new revenue.
“While at first glance this may seem like an easy way for state DOTs to generate revenue, the fact is it will devastate private businesses like mine that for the last 50 years have operated under the current law and established locations at the highway exits,” said Haslam in his letter. “The advantageous location of state-owned commercial rest areas establishes virtual monopolies on the sale of commercial services to highway travelers.”

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Va. Privatizes Rest Stops

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration has awarded a contract to a Pennsylvania-based catering company to sell food, drinks and merchandise at Virginia highway rest areas.
CRH Catering of Connellsville, Pa., will pay the Virginia Department of Transportation about $2 million a year for vending and advertising rights at the state’s 42 rest areas and welcome centers. Most are along interstate highways.
The new program means travelers will soon see ATM machines and interactive kiosks at the rest stops, as well as more choices for food, souvenirs and on-the-road needs.

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