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Three Construction Tips from Shoemaker’s Travel Plaza

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Operations

A remodel or renovation can improve a location’s aesthetics, strengthen its brand and enhance its merchandising, but getting through the construction can be a challenge. Dave Shoemaker, owner of Shoemaker’s Travel Plaza, experienced a rebuild several years ago and shared his insights on surviving a renovation with NATSO.

Be willing to pitch in. Either the owner or someone on staff may have to jump in from time to time. “There are a lot of times that something needed to be done so the next construction sub could come in and do their job, and the last thing that you want is them to come in and you are not ready,” Shoemaker said.

Do business with someone that does business with you. “It becomes a pride of ownership, and it is always good to give money back to the people that are supporting you,” Shoemaker said. “I have been very fortunate in that way.”

Have meetings with the construction subcontractors. Shoemaker recommends talking with subcontractors daily. “The first thing that I told all of them is that if the design looks stupid and wastes money and you have a better way, let's do it,” he said, adding that things that look good on paper don’t always look good to those doing the work. “Sometimes it makes the architect unhappy, and we would change things on the fly.”  

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About the Author

Mindy Long

Mindy Long

Mindy Long has been writing professionally for over 15 years and freelancing full time for the last four. In 2010 Long formed Mindy Long Freelance LLC. As a journalist, she has written about everything from video games to diesel fuel additives. 

Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. In addition, she has completed writing courses at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Md., and through the OpEd Project, Writer’s Digest and She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Northwestern Alumni Admissions Council.

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