Flags and Family at Ports to Plains

Photo Credit: Ports to Plains Truckstop

If you drove up to Ports to Plains truckstop, located in Lamar, Col­orado, the first thing you’d prob­ably notice is their big American flag. “We have a 20-foot by 30-foot American flag out front and a dozen American flags around the facility,” said owner Jim Miller.

But when you enter the facility, what would really wow you is the warm family atmosphere.

Located on an off-highway near Highway 287 and Highway 50 in the southeast corner of Colorado in the Arkansas valley, Ports to Plains was originally built by five ranchers in 1984. In 2008 when the original owners were ready to retire from the truckstop business, Miller and his wife, Janis, bought it. “Janis knows all the employees by their first names. She gives everyone a hug. Our truckstop is truly a family atmosphere,” Miller said.

Rancher’s Restaurant
The location is known for its 220-seat restaurant, Rancher’s Restau­rant. “We have the largest and nicest and best quality restaurant in town,” Miller said.

Miller gives the credit to General Manager Bruce Webster for earning the restaurant all those superlatives. “Bruce is very good at running our restaurant. He is very detailed orien­tated. For example, he checks in every food vendor,” Miller said. Webster also keeps a very close on labor costs, keeping them at or below 28 percent.

The restaurant stays true to its name in a very interesting way. “One unique thing we have in our restau­rant is a huge salad bar that is made out of a manure spreader,” Miller shared. Back in 1984, the origi­nal owners took one of the manure spreaders they used on their ranch. They cleaned and shined it and in­stalled it as the salad bar...

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Amy Toner's photo

Toner markets NATSO products, services and meetings. She is the content editor of NATSO's core websites, Stop Watch magazine and Highway Business Matters biweekly articles. In addition, she provides creative services across all departments. Toner joined NATSO in 2006. Prior to joining the association, she served as director of membership services at an association for ambulatory surgery centers. Toner lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son. More
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