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Love’s Travel Center holds opening for new Pecos site

Gas, food and more are available at the newest truck stop in Pecos, located on the south side of the U.S.  285-Interstate 20 interchange.

Love's Travel Stops opened the doors for business Thursday, in Pecos, and a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony for the store was held on Friday by the Pecos Chamber of Commerce. It’s the first truck stop built in the city in almost 25 years, since the Flying J opened its door on the north side of the I-20/U.S. 285 interchange in 1989.

The new Love’s features Chester's Fried Chicken, and 24-hour McDonald's and Subway restaurants. A gourmet coffee selection will also be available, as well as a variety of fountain drinks, fresh fruit, name-brand snacks, travel items, gift merchandise and more.

"Everything will be open 24 hours, except the chicken place," said store manager Kennedy Avalos. "They will be open all year long.”

Faustin Lovato, district manager for the local Love's Truck Stop, stated that they are happy about bringing the store to Pecos. "Love's is really proud to be here," he said. "We plan to be active in the community and are excited about the opening of our hotel, located next door.”

Lovato said that they are also planning to build some apartments, near Reeves County Hospital, to house store workers, due to the shortage of housing in Pecos caused by the current oil boom. Avalos said that they have hired about 120 employees, but that they still have some openings. "We're always looking for good help," said Avalos, who came to Pecos from El Paso, where he previously worked at a Love's location on I-10 in that city.

"We'll also have a tire service out back," said Avalos. That service is scheduled to open for business on Jan. 6.

Avalos said that they are looking forward to the opening of the Microtel in March and the new apartments sometime later in 2014. "They will be primarily for the employees, but will also open to others," he said.

The Pecos location has 116 parking spaces for professional truck drivers. A Love's Truck Tire Care center will open on site next month. A Microtel will also open at the location early next year, providing a convenient place to stay overnight for interstate travelers.

To celebrate the new opening, Love's presented a $2,000 donation to the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District during Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. "We're happy to bring the 'Clean Places, Friendly Faces' Love's is known for to this area of west Texas," said Tom Love, founder, and CEO of Love's Travel Stops. "It's our goal to offer the best customer service Pecos has experienced. We look forward to contributing to the community and local economy."

Jenny Love Meyer, Love’s Director of Communications, said last week the boom and the huge increase in truck traffic in the Pecos area made the location attractive to the company.

“This area of the state is very busy in truck traffic, and that is why we built,” Meyer said. “We originally had stores in Ranger and Van Horn, but between there is a five-hour drive, so we were able to fill in with our store in Odessa, then Sweetwater and now in Pecos.”

Love’s will mark its 50th anniversary next year. The company was started in 1964, when Tom and Judy Love opened a single gas station in far western Oklahoma. A few short years later, Love's opened its first convenience store in Guymon, Oklahoma. In 1981, Love's launched its first travel stop in Amarillo, Texas. Since then, Love's chain of convenience stores and travel centers has expanded rapidly to more than 300 locations in more than 39 states nationwide.