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Truckstop Travels: Seeing Service in Action During the Louisiana Floods

Posted in: Truckstop Travels

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The prolonged rainfall and resulting flooding in Louisiana in August was absolutely devastating. During a recent visit there in August, I saw so many truckstop and travel plaza operators doing everything they could to remain open during the disaster to serve their customers. We also talked with members who had to close due to the floods but were hard at work in hopes of re-opening as soon as possible. Our industry keeps people and products moving, and that can be even more important as people are leaving devastated areas or working to bring in relief supplies.

I had planned my Louisiana visit before the storms, but I decided to carry on with my trip as planned. It is hard to imagine the devastation, and I truly believe that unless you see the damage with your own eyes, it doesn’t do it justice. 

While we drove through water to visit members and non-members alike, it was nothing compared to what our industry members had to deal with, such as water as high as their rooftops. 

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Unfortunately, we were unable to visit with Lucky Deuces and Cash Magic in person due to flooding issues impacting the Interstate but had the opportunity to speak with them via phone. 

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We were able to visit St. Rose Travel Center, Silver’s Travel Center, Frog City Travel Center, Henderson Travel Center ad La Place Travel Center. We also stopped by several NATSO member chain locations and some non-member locations as well. I know the local customers and travelers at all of the locations we visited were grateful the business owners were able to open their doors and provide service.  

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/// Did you know most weeks you can find me visiting a NATSO member truckstop location, spending three to four days, using my merchandising and operations expertise to help them grow their business? I periodically share about those great retailers I visit here on the blog. Read more Truckstop Travels here.   

Photo Credit: Darren Schulte/NATSO

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.