NATSO

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.

Items contributed by NATSO

  • 13 Great Ideas from NATSO Connect

    In this issue of Stop Watch, we’re featuring not one, but 13 outstanding ideas operators have shared. Operators shared their insights and best practices during the Great Ideas! Session at NATSO Connect 2018. The annual meeting is one of the highlights of NATSO’s annual gathering, and operators were able to swap ideas and learn more about what is working for their peers, get inspiration from both inside and outside of the industry and think through how they can adapt ideas to make them work for them. While ideas filled the room, here are 13 that stood out.

  • Host a Driver Event Like Shell Rotella SuperRigs

    White’s Travel Plaza hosted the 36th annual Shell Rotella SuperRigs event in June. White’s, which is owned by NATSO member Bobby Berkstresser and located on I-81 in Raphine, Virginia, is always a popular location, and when you add a spectacular event like the Shell Big Rigs, it becomes even more of a draw.

  • Bowlin Travel Centers Has Been Offering All the THINGS for More Than 100 Years

    Bowlin Travel Centers, headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been serving the traveling public in the Southwest for more than 100 years. Today the travel center company is led by President and CEO Michael Bowlin and has grown considerably since it started as a single-store operation in New Mexico.

  • Foundation Brings Fun Run to NATSO Connect 2019

    Pack your running shoes for NATSO Connect 2019! New this year, the NATSO Foundation is bringing a Fun Run to NATSO Connect 2019 as the yeary fundraiser. The NATSO Foundation Fun Run will be Monday, February 11 at 7:00 a.m.

  • Better Manage Your RINs with the Alternative Fuel Council's RIN Management Service

    NATSO and the Alternative Fuels Council have launched a new RIN Management Service designed to help fuel retailers more efficiently participate in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program and manage their RINs.

  • Customers Are King at Gateway Travel Plaza

    At the family-owned Gateway Travel Plaza in Breezewood, Pennsylvania, the No. 1 priority is treating customers right. That emphasis starts at the top with the Bittner family—the location’s owners—and trickles down throughout the organization reaching every employee.

  • Quicklee's Travel Center is Off to a Great Start

    Quicklee’s Travel Center in Avon, New York, was founded by Peter Bruckel, Quicklee’s president and managing member. Bruckel started in the petroleum industry in 1995 when he opened a gas station on land adjacent to his industrial bridge painting company.

  • Pride Stores Excels at Social Media

    Pride Stores LLC, headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts, put an extra emphasis on its online presence by hiring a social media manager. After almost two years, Chris Szarek has grown the company’s digital profile by strategically using Google business tools, Facebook and more.

  • Nominate an Industry Leader for the NATSO Hall of Fame Award

    NATSO is currently accepting nominations for the Hall of Fame award and is inviting all members to nominate their peers who have a long history of supporting the truckstop and travel plaza industry, their employees and their communities.

  • Try Putting Your Manager’s Office in the Middle of Your Truckstop

    Home Service Oil Co., doing business as Express Mart, St. Louis, Missouri, has their managers’ “offices” in the center of its convenience stores.

  • Everything is Extra Nice at Danny's Big Rig Resort

    If you are wondering if Danny’s Big Rig Resort in Phoenix, Arizona, is a truckstop or a resort, the answer is both. “It is a truckstop for owner operators with money. If you’re trying to get something for a discounted price, this isn’t the right spot,” explains the owner, Vicki Hendon.

  • Logo Droppers Gives Away Custom Guitar at NATSO Connect 2018

    On March 6th Logo Droppers delivered a custom guitar to the Busy Bee chain of convenience stores and truck stop based in Florida. Elizabeth Waring, president of Busy Bee, won the custom guitar as part of a give away at NATSO Connect, which ran Feb. 10-13.

  • A Fresh Look And Unique Offerings Bring In Customers At Frog City

    Frog City Travel Plaza in Rayne, Louisiana, is a favorite destination stop for truckers, travelers and locals, and it is drawing them in with multiple food offerings, unique items and its local flair. Grego Barro, owner and operator of the location, is keeping Frog City fresh and beautiful with a recent c-store renovation and new gas pumps, and he focuses on customer service.

  • Highlights from NATSO Connect 2018

    At NATSO Connect 2018, hundreds of innovative, senior-level truckstop operators and industry partners came together to connect. For two-and-a-half days, this collaborative group

  • Creativity and Innovation Lead the Way at Mach 1

    At Mach 1 innovation is key, and Alan Meyer, chief operations officer for the company, said he is always willing to try something new, even if it ultimately fails.

  • Great Ideas in Action at Frog City Travel Plaza & Casino, Shreveport, La

    During a recent remodel, the Frog City Travel Plaza & Casino in Shreveport, Louisiana, added a giant ceiling fan to reduce power bills. “I saw one when I was gathering ideas for our remodel and knew it would be a good fit for our space,” said Greg Barro, owner.

  • Giant Lollipops and Much, Much More at Busy Bee

    Busy Bee is headquartered in Madison, Florida, and includes two truckstops and 16 convenience stores located primarily in Florida. Busy Bee #14 in Jasper, Florida, has ten full-time employees and a leased Huddle House. Busy Bee #25 in Live Oaks, Florida, is a bustling 22,000 square feet.

  • Truckstop Operators Fill The Room with Great Ideas at NATSO's Conference

    The sharing took place during the Great Ideas! for Independent Operators Workshop during The NATSO Show 2017, and operators tackled everything from food service to point-of-sale technology.

  • Add Fidget Spinners to Your Truckstop

    Fidget spinners have taken the world by storm, and Cash Magic Truck Plaza and Casino, which operated 22 locations in Louisiana is cashing in on the trend. The company originall put a box of 36 in each of its stores right on the checkout counter and sold out within a couple of days.

  • Pop-Up Fitting Room

    Target has developed a fitting room that could be placed in an existing space or built-in as part of new construction.

  • A Destination Spot for the Professional Truck Driver and the Local Community in Columbia, South Carolina

    This spring, TravelCenters of America (TA) opened a new Petro Stopping Center in Columbia, South Carolina. The 42,000-square-foot facility has eight diesel lanes, parking for 134 trucks, 10 showers, a CAT Scale, a Minute Mart convenience store, a very large game center, a t.v./movie room and a workout room.

  • Top Highlights of NATSO’s July Food and Fuel Tour in Chicago

    Food and fuel are two of the most important offerings at a truckstop or travel plaza, and the NATSO Foundation has handcrafted a customized Food and Fuel Study Tour to give operators a behind-the-scenes look into a biodiesel plant, two successful travel plaza locations offering biodiesel and some of the hottest foodservice locations in Chicago.

  • DAS 2017 Travel Center Show Showcases New Products and Trends

    New products, informative seminars and innovation were all part of the 2017 Travel Center Show hosted by NATSO Chairman’s Circle Member DAS Companies Inc., a full-service marketing and supply chain portfolio company. NATSO was represented at the show with a booth hosted by Kimberly Roberts, manager of travel plaza member services.

  • The Willkomm Companies Holds a Fundraiser for the Homeless

    For the last seven years, employees and customers at the Willkomm Companies’ five locations have joined together to raise funds to support two local homeless shelters—HALO of Racine and Shalom Center of Kenosha.

  • New! NATSO Best Practices in Truckstop Merchandising Videos

    NATSO has added a new video series on NATSO’s blog called Best Practices in Truckstop Merchandising!

  • Great Idea: Add Eclectic Items to Your Truckstop Buffet

    After concluding that drivers are tired of eating the same foods everywhere, L.G. Truckers City dba TA Wapakoneta in Wapakoneta, Ohio, started putting unusual meat products on its buffet. Items include duck in orange sauce, lamb, frog legs and pastisio, which is a Greek lasagna.

  • New Management and New Ideas Flourish at All American Flying J

    For more than 50 years the All American Flying J Travel Plaza has been serving truck drivers and locals in Breezewood, Pennsylvania. Recently it has undergone many changes under the direction of new management. “Our primary business is real estate, building and selling, and we were originally contracted to sell it, but we ended up leasing it with the right to purchase,” said Bill Miller, chief operating officer.

  • Thirteen Ways to Improve Your Truckstop's Net Operating Costs

    For truckstop and travel plaza operators, net operating costs provide insight into their locations’ profitability, efficiency and success, which explains why operators are constantly looking to improve their net operating costs.

  • Great Idea in Action: New Employee Buttons

    To help take some of the stress off of new cashiers and set customers’ expectations, Wade has new hires wear big yellow buttons that say, “Be patient. I am in training.”

  • Great Idea in Action: Bobby Bucks

    White’s Petro Stopping Center in Raphine, Virginia, has its own currency—Bobby Bucks.

  • The Willkomm Companies Raise More Than $18,000 for Homeless Shelters

    Employees and customers at The Willkomm Companies’ five locations have joined together to raise more than $18,000 to support two local homeless shelters—HALO of Racine and Shalom Center of Kenosha. This is the seventh year Willkomm’s employees and customers have raised money to support the charities.

  • Great Idea in Action: We Pump Wednesday

    During lunch on Wednesdays at the truckstops of Miller Oil Co. in Norfolk, Virgina, customers are treated to the unusual luxury of having their fuel pumped.

  • NATSO Foundation Launches Park My Truck Mobile App

    On Oct. 3, the NATSO Foundation launched the mobile app Park My Truck, a new highway safety initiative to help professional drivers find available truck parking.

  • Let NATSO Help Solve Your Truckstop Business Problems

    For more than 50 years, NATSO has focused on one thing: advancing the success of truckstop and travel plaza operators just like you.

  • Truckstop Travels

    Darren Schulte, NATSO vice president of membership, frequently visits NATSO members to review their locations and offers impactful merchandising and operational improvements. He periodically shares stories about the great retailers he visits on the blog. Here is snap shot of just a few.

  • NATSO Year In Review

    NATSO launched a number of exciting new member programs in 2016. Visit here to learn about these new programs that were designed to reduce the significant costs associated with operating a travel plaza and help members successfully market their businesses.

  • Where: White Petro Stopping Center

    In the fall of 2015 White’s Petro Stopping Center in Raphine, Virginia, added a number of new amenities including a pharmacy. Owner Bobby Berkstresser first began thinking about adding the pharmacy when they added a doctors’ clinic in 2012.

  • Great Ideas from Sapp Bros.

    As the editor of Stop Watch, I attended the tour to gather the locations’ best ideas to share with Stop Watch readers. The first day of the tour was spent at two Sapp Bros.’ locations, which I’ll share about.

  • Dedicated Pump for Rv Traffic at Anew Travel Center

    Anew Travel Center, which is located in Zeeland, Michigan, is a family-ownedand-operated company with more than 65 years in the transportation industry. The Meeuwsen family decided to build their truckstop in 2013 to offer renewable energy sources, including ethanol and biodiesel blends, to end consumers.

  • Fuel, Fun and Root Beer Flavor in Knoxville, Tennessee

    With 175 parking spots, five service bays and 300 to 500 drivers coming through the door every day, Knoxville West TA Travel Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, keeps busy. “You know, we have a big piece of property, but my general manager and I make sure we touch each department every day,” said Sam Smith, vice president of operations.

  • Wawa Great Idea: Coffee and Cream and Sugar Stations

    Wawa coffee is a proprietary, private-label blend available only at Wawa stores. Wawa’s coffee station includes at least eight different varieties. In 2010 they changed their coffee from glass pots to thermals, and in 2012, Wawa began offering a full-service specialty beverage area where customers can order hand-made varieties of lattes, hot chocolates and more via touch screens. Since the year 2000, Wawa has served more than one billion cups of coffee.

  • Flags and Family at Ports to Plains

    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.

  • 10 Reasons to Attend The NATSO Show

    Learn 10 reasons truckstop and travel plaza owners, managers, buyers and staff who want to increase their industry knowledge, grow their business contacts and buy new products should attend The NATSO Show.

  • Where: Fuel King Napoleon Travel Center - Great Idea: Clothing Donation Dropoff

    At their location in Napoleon, Ohio, owners Jack and Paul Grewal had heard from drivers looking to donate jackets at the end of the season so they could avoid hauling them around for an entire year. The drivers didn’t want to simply throw away the jackets, and the Grewals wanted to help facilitate drivers’ generosity.

  • Changes at Lancaster Travel Plaza Boost Curb Appeal

    At Lancaster Travel Plaza in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a kids' play area, a water fountain and new landscaping all add to the curb appeal, drawing in four-wheel and professional drivers alike. The changes were all part of a renovation that took place under the location’s new owner, Anil Jivani, who purchased the location in 2012.

  • Petro Dodge City #397's Great Idea: Historic Outhouse

    One of the ways Petro Dodge City #397 in Hanceville, Alabama, sets itself apart from its competition is by having an historic outhouse in its truckstop.

  • Food From the Best at Columbus West

    In the 11 years since it opened, Columbus West Travel Center in Columbus, Wisconsin, has grown from a convenience store to a full-service truckstop. “It started out as a convenience store and then as truck traffic increased, it was converted over to a truckstop by adding seven die­sel fueling positions, three showers, laundry, game room, lounge, Arby’s restaurant and hot food, prepared on site,” said owner Richard Sheard.

  • The NATSO Foundation’s Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Toolkit

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) contains two important components that are relevant to NATSO members: First, it establishes design requirements for the construction or alteration of public facilities including travel plazas and truckstops. These requirements are intended to ensure that these facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. View NATSO's member only The Americans with Disabilities Act – Design Requirements: Summary And Compliance Guide For Truckstops and Travel Plazas for a brief summary of the most important components of the ADA’s design requirements for NATSO members.

  • 7 Ways Shoemaker’s Travel Center Builds A Strong Brand

    Situated an hour Southeast of Omaha, Nebraska, Shoemaker’s Travel Center has all the ordinary truckstop profit centers—restaurant, store, fuel/gas and truck repair shop—but they are far from ordinary. In fact, they have become a tourist attraction for Lincoln. During the study tour, owner Dave Shoemaker shared what makes them unique. From the Highway 6 branding seen throughout the truckstop to their low-flow toilets, their strong branding makes a big impact on the customer experience. Count the ways with me.

  • Lancaster Travel Plaza, LLC's Great Idea: Solar Panel Farm

    Using federal and state grants, Lancaster Travel Plaza in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, added a solar panel farm to greatly reduce their energy bill. It will take six to seven years to recoup the cost of the equipment. After that, their electricity needs will be completely supported by the solar farm. Adding the solar farm took about four to five months. It involved applying for the grants, working with their electric company, getting approval from the town and installing the panels.

  • NATSO Foundation Board Member Mike Filiatreau Joins Lynco Products

    NATSO Foundation Board Member Mike Filiatreau was recently appointed as Vice President of Sales Northeast Region Lynco Products.

  • 15 Consumer Trends Shaping Retail Operations Today And in the Future from Coca Cola [Infographic]

    Being in the retail business, consumer trends greatly shape the truckstop and travel plaza business. During NATSO’s fall board meeting, Coca-Cola shared these key consumer trends. Truckstop operators should read them and take note on how they will impact their business—both today and five years from now.

  • White’s Travel Center Gives Back With “White’s Goes PINK”

    On October 30th, the employees of White’s Travel Center in Raphine, Virginia dressed in pink to show their participation in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

  • 2015 North American NGV Conference & Expo

    The largest gathering of natural gas vehicle (NGV) industry professionals in North America will take place September 15 - 17 in Denver, Colorado.

  • Space Age Travel Center blasts off with a remodel

    Located off of Interstate 84 in Hermiston, Oregon, Space Age Travel Center went through a total remodel and rebrand this year.

  • Innovation at Fontana Truck Stop Center

    Located in one of the most popular trucking corridors in the U.S., Fontana Truck Stop Center is primed for success.

  • Great Ideas From Independent Truckstop Operators

    A great ideas issue would not be complete without some GREAT IDEAS directly from independent operators.

  • Great Ideas in Action at Petro Fargo Truckstop

    This brand translates into not just a better shopping experience, but also a strong employee base that is proud of its high quality employer.

  • Great Ideas in Action at Donna's Travel Center

    In 2013, Donna’s Travel Center in Marysville, Washington, added a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine that allows customers to choose from more than 40 Coca-Cola products to create their own special drink.

  • Cookies and Rice Crispies at Pine Cone Travel Plaza

    For four decades Jim Glover has owned Pine Cone Restaurant in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin. In late 1990, he also bought Pine Cone Travel Plaza.

  • Trends in Leadership [Infographic]

    Great leadership not only improves the energy and atmosphere of a business. It can also improve the bottom line.

  • Bob and Nick Wollenman of Deluxe Truck Stop Present at Chamber of Commerce Event

    Bob Wollenman, co-owner, and Nick Wollenman, assistant general manager, of Deluxe Truck Stop, St. Joseph, Mo., were presenters at the "Cup of Joe" St. Joseph, Mo. Chamber of Commerce event, May 27th. This is a weekly event that gathers entreprenuers, small and large business owners, civic leaders and other interested individuals.

  • Broadway Truck Stop Raises Money for Spokane's Needy

    For the month of March, Broadway Diner, located in the Broadway Truck Stop in Spokane, Washington, was a proud participant of the “Dine Out To Feed Spokane” project, a benefit to raise awareness for the Feed Spokane agency.

  • Today's Driver At A Glance [Infographic]

    The average driver's age is 46.5-four years above the medium for the workforce as a whole.

  • NATSO Foundation Accepting Applications For Bill Moon Scholarship

    The NATSO Foundation is now accepting applications for the Bill Moon Scholarship.

  • Broadway Flying J Supports Breast Cancer with Pink Hats

    Broadway Flying J Travel Plazas created the Pink Hat campaign at their 7 facilities (Spokane, West Spokane, WA, Belgrade and Hardin, MT, Ellensburg and Pasco, WA and Battle Mountain, NV) to show their support for those with Breast Cancer.

  • Truckstop Doctor Receives National Honor

    John Otho “Rob” Marsh, MD, who practices at the walk-in clinic at White's Truck Stop in Raphine, Virginia, was recently awarded the Country Doctor of the Year Award by Staff Care, a temporary physician staffing firm.

  • WPMA and NATSO Team Up in 2015

    WPMA and NATSO are joining in 2015 to bring you an additional attendee opportunity—TWO conventions for the price of ONE! Learn more about this opportunity.

  • Learn How to Open the Throttle and Dominate Your Marketplace at The NATSO Show

    This year at The NATSO Show, Ken Schmidt, Former Director of Communications Strategy for Harley-Davidson Motor Co., is one of five keynote presenters slated to share insights to help truckstop and travel plaza operators improve their operations.

  • CSP Taps into NATSO Data

    A new infographic from CSP Magazine provides a helpful, at-a-glance insight into the truckstop industry and much of the information came from NATSO.

  • American Trucking Associations' Chief Economist to Speak at The NATSO Show

    Bob Costello, senior vice president and chief economist at the American Trucking Associations, is back by popular demand to provide insight into the latest on the future of the trucking industry at The NATSO Show.

  • NATSO and WPMA Tap the Power of Partnership for Education and Trade Events

    Seizing an opportunity to tap into the power of partnership, NATSO and the Western Petroleum Marketers Association (WPMA) will share educational resources as well as business and networking opportunities for exhibitors and attendees at the NATSO Show and WPMA’s National Convention & Convenience Store Expo scheduled to be held in February in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • Former Trader Joe's President Announced as NATSO Show 2015 Keynote

    Former Trader Joe's President Doug Rauch will illuminate how to focus on core competencies to distinguish yourself from the competition in an energetic presentation filled with eye-opening case studies at the NATSO Show 2015.

  • AMBEST Asks Operators to Support the Wounded Warrior Project

    AMBEST is supporting the Wounded Warrior Project, which empowers and assists members of the military, and is encouraging others to participate by “buying a brick” to help build a road to recovery for veterans.

  • Deluxe Truck Stop Hosts Senator Roy Blunt

    Bob and Nick Wollenman, Deluxe Truck Stop, St. Joseph, Mo. hosted Sen. Roy Blunt (R - Missouri) at their facility on August 12, 2014.

  • Johnson’s Corner Hosts Trucker Appreciation Day August 20

    To show its appreciation for truckers, Johnson’s Corner is hosting Trucker Appreciation Day on August 20, 2014. Held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the event will include food, games, prizes and fun.

  • Sapp Bros. Adds Natural Gas

    Sapp Bros.’ first location opened on June 7, 1971, in Omaha, Neb. Today there are 16 travel centers located in eight states. F rom the beginning, the company has always embraced new ideas and technology that would improve its offerings and better meet its customers’ needs. With this focus in mind, this year they added natural gas to one location in Lincoln, Neb., and are working on installing the second in Columbus, Neb. They are contemplating adding two more this year.

  • Fuel Up On NATSO Benefits: Biz Brief

    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 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.

  • Greater Chicago Truck Plaza Receives Lung Health Champion Award

    Greater Chicago Truck Plaza in Bolingbrook, Ill. received honors from the Respiratory Health Association for their lung health efforts.

  • Federated Insurance Offers Designated Risk Manager Seminar to NATSO Members

    NATSO's Chairman's Circle member Federated Insurance is offering a Designated Risk Manager Seminar on September 15-17, 2014 in Owatonna, Minn. Once again, NATSO members are invited to attend the training at no charge.

  • Iowa 80 Truckstop Hosts 35th Anniversary Walcott Truckers Jamboree

    Iowa 80 Truckstop’s 35th Anniversary Walcott Truckers Jamboree, to be held at Iowa 80 Truckstop in Walcott, Iowa, will kick off July 10.

  • Iowa 80/CAT Scale Announces Award Grants

    Iowa 80 and CAT Scales announced a series of award grants to local causes.

  • Sapp Bros. Travel Center in Columbus, Nebraska to Add Compressed Natural Gas

    Sapp Bros. Travel Center on East 6th Avenue in Columbus, Nebraska will open a compressed natural gas station (CNG) in the fall of 2014. It will facilitate both large truck and automobile access.

  • Florida 595 Truck Stop Now Offers Call Ahead Parking

    Florida 595 Truck Stop now offers call ahead parking.

  • Truckstops Purchase 35% More Grocery Products

    The January to December 2013 McLane/NATSO Foundation Index is now out. The index found that average purchases per truckstop jumped to $16,335 per week during 2013, compared with $15,784 in 2012.

  • Fuel Up on NATSO Benefits: Discounted Payment Card Merchant Processing

    Did you know NATSO has partnered with First Data Merchant Services to offer NATSO members a cost effective, competitive solution for processing credit card transactions?

  • What is your number one shrink prevention tool?

    Learn about the shrink prevention tools truckstop operators rely on.

  • Fuel Up on NATSO Benefits: NATSO's Website

    Did you know NATSO’s website is full of how-to blog posts, informative videos, business intelligence from Chairman’s Circle members and more?

  • NATSO Year in Review

    Take a look back at 2013.

  • Jubitz Travel Center Gets It Right

    Founded in 1952 as a truck leasing company, Jubitz Travel Center has been a fixture in the Northwest since opening in its current North Portland location in 1958.

  • Federated Insurance Promotes Fire Prevention Week with Resources for Businesses

    NATSO Chairman's Circle member Federated Insurance is providing NATSO members with several resources for Fire Prevention Week, running October 6–12, 2013. Every year, business owners experience property losses totaling billions of dollars due to fire. Investigation into the cause of these fires found that, if consistent attention had been paid to a few very specific exposures, most of these losses could have been prevented. Managing an exposure like fire is not a yearly, monthly, or even weekly activity—it is a daily activity. Fires can destroy not only buildings and property, but also people’s livelihoods, sense of security, succession plan, and community at large.

  • Help Operators Take Advantage of Holiday Sales

    Like all retailers, truckstop and travel plaza operators know that the holidays mean increased opportunities for sales. Not only do locations see an increase in the number of four-wheeler passengers stopping in as they travel to be with friends and family, professional drivers are often on the look out for gifts for loved ones while they’re out on the road.

  • Repairs And Roast Beef Sandwich Sales Grow At Dodge City

    Petro Dodge City #397 is located in Hanceville, Ala., which is positioned perfectly between Birmingham and Huntsville. With a brand new truck repair shop and renovations in the works, they are also positioned to grow.

  • Attend Federated Insurance's Risk Manager Seminar and Get a Competitive Advantage

    In collaboration with NATSO, Chairmans' Circle member Federated Insurance is offering NATSO members access to their upcoming Risk Manager Seminar to be held September 9 - 11 in Owatonna, Wis.

  • Nominate a Leader to the Hall of Fame by Aug. 9

    Two weeks remain to submit a nomination for the 2014 NATSO Hall of Fame award. Nominations will be accepted until Aug. 9, 2013.

  • New OSHA Hazard Communication Standards

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals as the new standard for hazard communication (HAZCOM). Effective Dec. 1, 2013, employers must ensure that employees are trained on the new labeling elements and Safety Data Sheet formats.

  • Nominate a Leader to the Hall of Fame

    The NATSO Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2014 NATSO Hall of Fame award until Aug. 9, 2013. Formerly the Distinguished Member award, the NATSO Hall of Fame award recognizes current or past NATSO members whose participation in their communities, the industry and our association brings honor to and serves as a source of pride for the travel plaza and truckstop industry.

  • Exhibit Space Now Available for The NATSO Show 2014

    Booth sales for The NATSO Show 2014 are now open! Act today to reserve your booth to gain direct access to key truckstop and travel plaza decision makers. To make a booth selection appointment, contact Susan Taylor at (703) 739-8572 orstaylor@natso.com. The NATSO Show 2014 will be held Jan. 26 - 29 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. More information on exhibiting is available here.

  • Disregard Fraudulent Calls Regarding Room Rates for The NATSO Show 2014

    NATSO has learned that NATSO Show exhibitors and attendees are being fraudulently called and offered a reduced rate for the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

  • Simmons Travel Center: Where the Drivers Always Come Back Happy

    Take exit 8 off I-95 in emporia, Va., and you’ll find NATSO member Simmons Travel Center. In business since 1941, the location offers a haircut at their hair salon, a slice of pizza from Hunt Brothers Pizza and perhaps most importantly, a friendly smile to greet every customer. When you leave, you’ll want to come back or at least that is the goal at this family-owned location. “Our motto is bring them back happy,” shared General Manager Tony Moore.

  • Florida 595 Truck Stop Say Pardon Our Appearance

    Florida 595 Truck Stop in Davie Florida says, “Pardon our appearance during our parking lot expansion project” and wants all trucking companies and drivers to know that during this construction period there is still plenty of parking available.

  • Truckstop Merchandise Purchases Up 10% Vs. 2012

    The total merchandise purchases per week per travel plaza and truckstop excluding cigaretteswere up 10% for the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2012 according to the 1st Quarter 2013 McLane-NATSO Foundation Index. Total travel plaza and truckstop convenience purchases from McLane averaged $16,332 per week during the first quarter of 2013 versus $15,578 during the first quarter of 2012.

  • NATSO and Renewable Energy Group Team Up to Offer Biodiesel Webinar June 6

    In February, attendees at The NATSO Show 2013 had the opportunity to attend a NATSO U educational session on making biodiesel profitable at your travel plaza. NATSO and Chairman's Circle member Renewable Energy Group are partnering to offer the presentation again on June 6! NATSO members only can register for this free webinar held Thursday, June 6 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT.

  • Final Week to Apply for Bill Moon Scholarship

    The NATSO Foundation is accepting applications for the 2013 Bill Moon Scholarship until next Wednesday, May 1. All truckstop and travel plaza owner/operators, their employees and their families are eligible.

  • Kent's Korner: Big Company Best Practices, Small Company Charm in S.C.

    South Carolina-based Garvin Oil has the best practices of a large company and the speed, flexibility and southern hospitality of a small company.

  • Nominate a Truckstop Superhero

    The NATSO Foundation has created the Truckstop Superhero award to recognize those truckstop and travel plaza employees who go above and beyond the call of duty. When you know of, witness, or experience an exceptional act of kindness or courtesy by a travel plaza or truckstop employee, please take the time to fill out and submit the Truckstop Superhero Nomination Form.

  • NATSO Training Manual Now Available

    NATSO now offers a Truckstop and Travel Plaza Training Manual. The manual, which is available at a discounted rate to NATSO members, is designed to help operators create their own store- and company-specific operations training manual.

  • One Week Remaining to Reserve Hotel Room for DOH

    NATSO members planning to attend NATSO’s Day on Capitol Hill May 6 - 8 have one week remaining to make room reservations at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. NATSO's special rate of $359 expires April 8.

  • Cars, Carrots and Christian Faith in Glenrio, N.M.

    Russell’s Truck and Travel Center 2 has it all—a business built on Christian values, a one-in-a-million car museum, a family of owners skilled in grocery items and even a director of operations that sleeps on location.

  • The NATSO Show Recap

    Key leaders in the travel plaza industry and their suppliers came face to face at The NATSO Show 2013 in Savannah, Ga., in February, exchanging ideas and uncovering new solutions to improve their operations and plan for the future.

  • Travel Plaza and Truckstop Industry Convenience Product Trends

    A dose of the quarterly analysis of weekly purchases of travel plaza and truckstops served by McLane.

  • Bill Moon Scholarship Awards Raised to $5,000

    The NATSO Foundation Bill Moon Scholarships have been increased to $5,000. Five $5,000 scholarships now will be awarded this year.

  • Register to Take Home Business Ideas from Europe to Improve Your Bottom Line

    For the third year, NATSO is partnering with Insight to offer NATSO members a phenomenal learning trip to Europe. This year's International Study Tour, Sept. 22 - 27, begins in Amsterdam with hosted retail study tours and ends in London with the ‘Future of Convenience’ conference and exhibition.

  • A Day in the Life of a Truckstop Operator: Mark Russell

    Industry suppliers know that understanding their customers increases service levels in addition to profits. While no two days are ever exactly the same for truckstop and travel plaza operators, Highway Business Matters sat down with Mark Russell, director of operations for Russell’s Truck and Travel Center 2, near Amarillo, Texas to learn about a typical day.

  • Presentations Available for Attendees of The NATSO Show

    For a limited time, The NATSO Show presentations will be available for viewing and downloading on NATSO's website here.

  • Truckstop Merchandise Purchases Up 6% Vs. 2011

    The total merchandise purchases per week per travel plaza and truckstop were up 6% for all of 2012 compared to 2011 according to the 4th Quarter 2012 McLane-NATSO Foundation Index. Total travel plaza and truckstop convenience purchases from McLane averaged $16,545 per week during 2012 versus $15,616 in 2011.

  • Industry Vendors: We'll See You at the Show

    In a matter of days, industry suppliers and truckstop operators will come together under one roof for The NATSO Show 2013. Take a look at our quick tips to help you make the most of your time at the show.

  • Get the Latest on The NATSO Show in the Official Show Guide

    Don't wait for your mail to arrive to get the latest scoop on The NATSO Show. View the Official Show Guide virtually.

  • Geo. H. Green Oil Company Raised $26,000 for Charity

    The Wyatt brothers, co-owners of the Geo. H. Green Oil Company of Fairburn, Ga., raised more than $26,000 in just 27 days, a 4 percent increase over last year, in the company’s annual fund raising drive.

  • Participate in the NATSO Foundation Golf Tournament

    A limited number of registrations are now available for the NATSO Foundation Golf Tournament that will take place at The NATSO Show. Individual registration can be submitted using theIndividual Golfer Form.

  • Preparation for the Facilitation Session at The NATSO Show

    The NATSO Show attendees that plan to attend the Fundamental Leadership Skills: Facilitation educational session at The NATSO Show have homework. Session facilitator Jeffrey Cufaude of Idea Architects has prepared a video for attendees that provides techniques for engaging other people’s best contributions.

  • Truckstop Merchandise Purchases Up 6%

    The total merchandise purchases per week per travel plaza and truckstop were up 6% versus 2011 (excluding cigarettes) according to the 3rd Quarter 2012 McLane-NATSO Foundation Index. Cigarette purchases per week per travel plaza and truckstop were up 5% in the first nine months of 2012.

  • Jim Haslam, Founder of Pilot Corporation, to Receive Hall of Fame Award at The NATSO Show

    James A. "Jim" Haslam II, founder of Pilot Corporation and chairman emeritus of Pilot Flying J, will receive the association’s Hall of Fame award at The NATSO Show in Savannah, Ga., Feb. 2-6.

  • Stop Watch Magazine Seeks Sources on Upselling

    NATSO is interested in talking with operators who have developed upselling programs for an upcoming issue of Stop Watch.

  • The NATSO Show Features Session on Human Trafficking Issue

    The NATSO Show will include a session on how the trucking industry and truckstops can work together to combat human trafficking.

  • The NATSO Show Hotel Discounts Expire Soon

    Discounted hotel rooms for The NATSO Show end on Jan. 11, leaving just a few weeks for truckstop and travel plaza attendees to secure their discounted rooms.

  • Exhibit at The NATSO Show to Reach Truckstops Visited by Thousands of Professional Drivers Daily

    NATSO members Are visited by thousands of professional drivers daily.

  • New Session Added To The NATSO Show on Biodiesel

    The NATSO Show will include a session on how to make biodiesel profitable at your travel plaza.

  • Four More Ways to Connect with Operators Before and During The NATSO Show 2013

    Perhaps the most important fact about exhibiting at trade shows is that successful trade show experiences require targeted, effective pre-show marketing and promotions. Exhibitors and sponsors cannot just show up and expect attendees to run to their booth. Here are four more ways to market your participation in The NATSO Show.

  • The NATSO Show Early-Bird Discount Ends Friday

    Invest in your truckstop and travel plaza by attending The NATSO Show, Feb. 2-6 in Savannah, Ga.

  • NATSO Webinar: Emergency Preparation and Recovery

    Join NATSO’s free webinar to learn the numerous ways you can and should prepare foremergencies.

  • Today Last Day To Be Included in The NATSO Show Guide

    TODAY is last day to be included as an exhibitor in the Official Show Guide for The NATSO Show.

  • NATSO Show Features Fuels Study for Trucking

    During The NATSO Show, leaders from the National Petroleum Council’s study on Future Transportation Fuels will provide an overview of the study's findings and present publicly for the first time an in-depth review of the future of fuels for the heavy-duty trucking industry.

  • Five Ways to Increase Your Success Before The NATSO Show 2013

    Five ways to market your participation in The NATSO Show.

  • Education Announced for The NATSO Show

    18 educational opportunities have been crafted to help NATSO members improve their business operations today and make innovative business decisions that will lead them into the future.

  • Reserve a Booth at The NATSO Show by Dec. 5

    Vendors that reserve a booth for The NATSO Show by Dec. 5 have the opportunity to take advantage of a number of pre-show marketing opportunities. Successful trade show experiences require targeted, effective pre-show marketing and promotions.

  • NATSO Show 2013 Registration Open; Feb. 2-6 Savannah, Ga.

    Registration is now open for The NATSO Show 2013.

  • History, Homemade Food and a Driver Focus in Wapakoneta, Ohio

    A history-packed past, made-from-scratch food and an emphasis on customer service keep customers flocking to L.G. Truckers City dba TA Wapakoneta in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

  • How Do You Combat Shrinkage in Your Store?

    By far our best asset protection is our employees.

  • Exhibit at The NATSO Show to Reach NATSO Members

    Exhibit at this well-attended annual trade show and have access to NATSO member travel plaza and truckstop owners and operators.

  • PingHd, Digital Sign Provider, To Offer Webinars

    NATSO allied member Ping HD is offering three webinars.

  • Top 5 Reasons to Exhibit at The NATSO Show

    Increase awareness of your brand/establish a presence in the travel plaza and truckstop industry at Tje NATSO Show.

  • Slideshow: Creative Displays Direct Traffic & Create Atmosphere

    NATSO operators submitted pictures of some the creative displays they are using to Stop Watch magazine.

  • How Do You Keep Your Management Interested in the Business?

    NATSO independent operators share how they keep their management interested in the business.

  • When Everyone Is Going Small, Dad’s 113 Travel Center Goes Big

    Dad's 113 Travel Center embraces the mantra go big or go home.

  • Stop Watch Magazine Gets a Fresh New Look

    Stop Watch editor, Amy Toner, explains how the magazine derived its fresh new look.

  • McLane-NATSO Foundation Index Reports Total Merchandise Purchases Down 1%

    The McLane-NATSO Foundation Index is produced quarterly and offers NATSO members the opportunity to compare their weekly convenience store purchases with travel plazas and truckstops convenience stores served by McLane.

  • Effectively Participate in the AMBER Alert Program

    The NCMEC and the NATSO Foundation have prepared a list of frequently asked questions.

  • Nominate a Leader to the Hall of Fame

    The NATSO Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2013 NATSO Hall of Fame award until Aug. 31, 2012.

  • Week and a Half Left to Meet UST Operator Training Requirement

    The deadline for truckstop or travel plaza operators of underground storage tank (UST) systems to complete federally mandated underground storage tank UST operator training is next week on Wed, Aug. 8.

  • Two Months to Meet UST Operator Training Requirement

    The deadline for truckstop or travel plaza operators of underground storage tank (UST) systems to complete federally mandated underground storage tank UST operator training is just two months away on Aug. 8.

  • House Approves H.R. 8 to Extend 2001 and 2003 Tax Rates

    The U.S. House of Representatives last week voted 256 to 171 in favor of H.R. 8, the “Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act,” which would extend the 2001 and 2003 tax rates through 2013.

  • Tips for Making the Most of NATSO's International Study Tour

    Dan Alsaker of Broadway Truck Stops last week shared his tips for preparing for NATSO’s International Study Tour with NATSO's blog.

  • One Month Left to Meet UST Operator Training Requirement

    The deadline for truckstop or travel plaza operators of underground storage tank (UST) systems to complete federally mandated underground storage tank UST operator training is just one month away on Aug. 8.

  • Pleased to Meet You

    At Roady’s Lucky Deuces Casino, every customer is greeted with a smile.

  • Midway Truck Stop Thrives in Missouri

    With more than a dozen different businesses on 200 acres, Midway Truck Stop in Missouri is an oasis for highway travelers and locals alike, but it hasn’t always been that way.

  • Rising From the Ashes

    Broadway Flying J Travel Plaza Rebuilds After a Disaster.

  • People Power

    Trail’s Travel Center owes its success to a hard-working, friendly staff.

  • Less is More, Eco Travel Plaza is Busy Conserving Energy

    The Eco Travel Plaza is busy conserving energy.

  • Shaping The NATSO Show Specifically for You

    NATSO’s fundamental purpose is to deliver solutions to members’ challenges and achieve the public-policy goals of the travel plaza and truckstop industry.

  • Create a Plan of Action for Independence Day

    Travel plaza and truckstops are uniquely positioned to take advantage of seasonal retail opportunities. We just finished Father's Day and we are onto our next holiday. Are you prepared for the Fourth of July?

  • Sacramento 49er Travel Plaza Stands Out for Almost 40 Years

    To make the Sacramento 49er Travel Plaza in Sacramento, Calif., stand out, President and General Manager Tristen Rust Griffith emphasizes her employees, seeks out innovation and focuses on the travel plaza’s bottom line.

  • Dip Into Social Media Marketing

    Trying something new can be daunting, so we’ve created these lighthearted step-by-step directions to guide you through the process.

  • Connecting with Members

    NATSO’s fundamental purpose is to deliver solutions to members’ challenges and achieve the public policy goals of the travel plaza and truckstop industry.

  • What piece of technology or technology tools help you?

    It also allows me to help our workers fix or resolve computer issues without having to be on-site.

  • The NATSO Foundation Adopts a New Vision and Bylaws and Elects a New Chairman

    The bylaws reflect a new composition of the board members as well as a new mission.

  • Family, Boots & Politics at the Bridges Travel Plaza

    More than 300 drivers come through Bridges Travel Plaza in Cusseta, Ala., every day, and they don’t just come for food and fuel.

  • All in the Family

    How to run a family business successfully

  • Industry Joins Together to Protect Small Businesses, Jobs

    This week the Senate rejected an amendment that would have jeopardized thousands of jobs and businesses.

  • Four Ways to Increase Your Success Before The NATSO Show

    Perhaps the most important fact about exhibiting at trade shows is that successful trade show experiences require targeted, effective pre-show marketing and promotions.

  • NATSO Announces New Opportunities to Connect with Industry Leaders at The NATSO Show

    At The NATSO Show, we're focused sharply on the executives, owners and leaders who run the nation's truckstops and travel plazas.

  • NATSO Launches Highway Business Matters

    Welcome to NATSO's first edition of Highway Business Matters — a brief semimonthly newsletter created exclusively for companies that provide products or services to the truckstop and travel plaza industry!

  • May Card Spending 'Healthy'

    First Data Corp. reports that same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EPT cards and checks at U.S. retail locations rose 7 percent year-over-year.

  • Great Ideas in Action: Share Your Fourth of July Retail Display

    Share your best Fourth of July retail display as part of NATSO’s new Great Ideas in Action.

  • Truckstop Merchandise Purchases Jump 3 Percent in Q1 2012

    McLane/NATSO Foundation Index reports the average purchases per truckstop jumped to $15,600 from $15,100 per week compared with the same three-month period in 2011.

  • Register to Take Home Business Ideas from Europe to Improve Your Bottom Line

    This year's International Study Tour, Sept. 24 - 28, will visit Oslo, London and Paris.

  • Exhibit Space Available Now for The NATSO Show 2013

    Exhibit space for The NATSO Show 2013 is officially open.

  • Second International Study Tour Planned

    “What stands out most from the trip was the opportunity to learn, think, be creative and be inspired by all that I saw and experienced.”

  • What are the little things you do to improve the appearance of your location?

    "We have a full-time maintenance staff, which we call facility attendants. We have them on the inside and outside of the building and have at least two on during a shift."

  • Big Cabin Travel Plaza Still Thrives after 57 Years

    The Franks businesses have survived since 1954 by hard work and determination. As Kathrena shared with Stop Watch, the truckstop business is “long hours, long days, long weeks, but worth it in the end. Just keep dancing as fast as you can."

  • The NATSO Show 2012 in Photos

    Check out pictures from The NATSO Show 2012 to see what we mean.

  • Final Week to Apply for 2012 Bill Moon Scholarship

    2012 Bill Moon Scholarship will be accepted until this Friday, April 13.

  • NATSO’s New Website

    We are constantly inspired and impressed by the innovation and passion you bring to your locations. We tapped into that inspiration and designed this site with you in mind.

  • UST Operator Training Requirements

    UST operators must be trained by Aug. 8, 2012.

  • NATSO and Renewable Energy Group Biodiesel Webinar

    Register for this March 27 webinar to learn from Renewable Energy Group about the status of the biodiesel industry and the 2012 outlook. Get the latest updates regarding quality, the RFS2, federal and state legislation’s impact on positive blending opportunities and more.

  • Share Your Expertise in Stop Watch Magazine

    “What are the little things you do to improve the appearance of your truckstop or travel plaza?”

  • Get the Latest on The NATSO Show in the Official Show Guide

    View the Official Show Guide virtually and use the exhibitor and sponsor list to plan your vendor appointments and learn how to make the most of out the Human Library at The NATSO Show.

  • NATSO Show Offers Unique Educational Opportunities Designed for Future Success

    Attendees will walk away with knowledge on pricing structure options, the forecast of DEF and much more in this session designed to make independent operators savvy DEF sellers.

  • Attend the Pinnacle of Social Activities at The NATSO Show

    The NATSO Foundation Fundraiser and The NATSO Show offer the best networking opportunities you'll find all year with operators who know your industry inside and out.

  • Focus on Ahead-of-the-Curve Trends at The NATSO Show

    2012 is shaping up to be a momentous year for the trucking industry. The highway funding bill, truck driver shortage and hours-of-service regulations are just a few of the issues hanging in the balance for trucking fleets.

  • New Educational Opportunities at The NATSO Show

    Attendees of The NATSO Show will have the option to attend three breakout sessions Monday afternoon in the first block of breakout sessions.

  • The NATSO Show Features Innovations from Around the World and The Outlook of Fuel

    This year's NATSO Show is packed with keynote sessions led by innovative experts focused on ahead-of-the-curve trends. Monday, Feb. 20 brings two keynote sessions that operators won't want to miss.

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