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What You Missed in the Biz Brief This Week: September 3, 2014

Posted in: Industry Trends & News

In today’s information-overloaded business world, we often find ourselves deluged with literally hundreds of news items from dozens of sources. While it is likely impossible to read every article and remain productive, by not doing so we risk missing the one article that could change a key business practice or thought process. And that is where the NATSO Foundation’s publication, Biz Brief, provides assistance! The NATSO Foundation's Biz Brief is a daily collection of the most relevant business intelligence for truckstop and travel plaza operators. 

While we think the Biz Brief is a must-read every day, if you only read ten news articles this week, these ten most-clicked Biz Brief articles are the ten to read. 

  1. Medieval-Themed Travel Plaza Opens 
    Harpreet Singh of Bristol, Ind., has always been fascinated with large regal-looking buildings. He spent the last 14 years dreaming about a medieval-themed travel plaza. Singh's dream came true recently when he opened a 23,000-square-foot travel center, complete with the exterior look of a castle. The stop includes a full retail convenience store that is now open, 11 shower rooms to serve travelers, a Subway that could open as soon as this week, a McDonald’s scheduled to openSept. 25 and a café that will serve gourmet coffee drinks and pastries. Click here to read more >

  2. Jerry Seinfeld Visits Flynn's Travel Plaza 
    When Sean Flynn of Flynn's Truck Plaza in Shrewsbury, Mass., saw a woman in his parking lot taking photos, he walked out and asked if he could help her. He learned that she was a scout for the show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Not long after, his location was hosting comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Aziz Anari, who arrived in a bus Seinfeld was driving. “We saw a big tour bus that was driving down the road with an SUV in front of it filming things. That pulled in and we said, ‘It must be Jerry. He came in and backed into a spot,’” Flynn said. Click here to read more >

  3. TA Reports Q1 Results 
    TravelCenters of America reported that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and rent jumped 31.2 percent over last year's earnings during the 2014 first quarter to $74.8 million. Diesel volumes were slightly lower than 2013 levels as a result of the extreme winter conditions and retail inventory pullback experienced during the period. Gross margin on fuel sales improved to $.187 per gallon from $.155 last year. The company made $17 million in capital investments during the three-month period. Click here to read more >
  4. TA Offers Parking and Repair Information on Mobile App 
    TravelCenters of America has announced updates to its TruckStart mobile application. One feature allows drivers to place an advance Truck Service maintenance or repair request from the application, prior to arriving at a TA or Petro Truck Service center. A new Plan2Park component provides drivers with an estimated number of available parking spaces on a given day and hour within seven days. The Reserve-It feature allows drivers to reserve a parking space if they are concerned about availability. Click here to read more >

  5. Introverts as Leaders 
    Instinctively, most people would not view introverts as strong candidates for leadership. Facts, however, prove otherwise. Think Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, both of whom consider themselves introverts. Three traits of introverts can assist in the development of strong leadership skills. First, they listen more than they speak. Additionally, introverts do little by instinct. Instead, they spend time on preparation and are usually well-schooled on the subject. And finally, they enjoy solitude. Time alone tends to lead to great ideas and strategies. Click here to read more >

  6. Love's Opens Three New Locations 
    Love's Travel Stops has announced the opening of three new locations in Indiana, Mississippi and Virginia. The Indiana location is situated in Angola at Exit 348 on I-69. The Mississippi site is located at the intersection of Highways 82 and 49. The Virginia stop is in Franklin at the intersection of U.S. Highways 58 and 258. All three locations have seven showers, on-site tire care centers, DEF at the pump on all diesel lanes and RFID cardless fueling tech and a CAT scales. The travel stops will offer Bojangles at the Franklin facility and Hardee's at the other two locations. Click here to read more >

  7. “Going away from the old-fashioned gas and diesel fuel tax, to me, makes sense.”
    Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad discussing the possible move to a sales tax on gas and diesel. 
    Click here to read more >

  8. Love's Opens Dallas Fast-Fill CNG Location 
    Love's Travel Stops has opened a fast-fill compressed natural gas fueling facility at its Oak Cliff travel stop on I-20 outside of Dallas. The CNG product currently is priced at $1.99 per equivalent gallon at the site compared with $3.85 per gallon for diesel. Vice President of Communications Jenny Love Meyer said, “Obviously it’s a chicken and egg situation, in terms of what should come first: the [natural gas] vehicles or refueling locations. But we saw what was happening with the spread between natural gas and diesel [prices], and we knew there would be increased demand [for natural gas] so we wanted to be one of the first to provide it.” Click here to read more >

  9. Reading Material for Soldiers and Leaders 
    Soldiers need many of the same traits that today's business leaders require. They must respond quickly in difficult situations and they must motivate and inspire others. The U.S. Army attempts to help soldiers develop these leadership traits by suggesting 13 books for their reading pleasure. Business leaders may benefit significantly by reviewing this same list of recommended reading. Click here to read more > 

  10. Pharmaceuticals Raise Hepatitis C Awareness With Truck Drivers 
    OraSure and AbbVie, makers of pharmaceuticals to treat hepatitis C, are initiating a testing campaign for truck drivers to help raise awareness about the disease. Baby boomers are the most at-risk demographic in America for hepatitis C and the average age of the American truck driver is 55. Hepatitis C is a virus discovered just over two decades ago that can slowly destroy the liver, resulting in cirrhosis, fibrosis, liver cancer, and often death. Click here to read more >

I might be biased, but I think if you aren't receiving Biz Brief, you are missing out! Not a subscriber? Be sure to submit a request to be added to the email list. Already receive it and have feedback for me? Be sure to email me at

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About the Author

Roger Cole

Roger Cole

Roger Cole serves as edior of the NATSO Foundation's Biz Brief. The Biz Brief is a daily e-newsletter created to provide readers with business intelligence tailored specifically for truckstop and travel plaza owners and operators. Cole shifts through hundreds of news sources daily, selects the most relevant and timely news and then editorially distills it into a must-read briefing.