Efforts by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to commercialize five non-interstate rest areas have failed to gain traction with ODOT receiving no bids from developers in response to its request for proposal, although two companies expressed interest in advertising and sponsorship opportunities along the state's interstate highways.
Despite the lack of interest in the proposals and widespread opposition from residents, businesses and tourism groups, ODOT reportedly plans to reach out to the developers to determine how it can improve its plans and make them more viable. Developers aren't interested in commercializing the non-interstate rest areas because private businesses already are meeting motorists' needs, a member of the Ohio Turnpike Commission told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and turnpike rest areas are successful mainly because of "captive" traffic on the tolled turnpike.
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