Love’s Travel Stop coming to Peeler Road

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 30, 2012

SALISBURY — Love’s Travel Stops will build a 10,000-square-foot truck stop on Peeler Road at Interstate 85 after razing the former Derrick Travel Plaza, the company confirmed Thursday.
Love’s does not plan to keep the parking lot chapel but will work with Rev. Larry Beaver, chapel coordinator, to support the ministry and help it move forward, said Kyla Turner, Love’s communications manager.
Love’s real estate manager has been in contact with Beaver and will meet him at the chapel next week to discuss options, Turner said.
“We definitely want to work out something for the chapel,” Turner said. “Our plans do not include a chapel, but we would like to help them out in any way we can.”
Options include moving the chapel to another location, she said.
Beaver and 11 other Rowan County pastors rotate to staff the chapel for daily worship services. The chapel was built about 10 years ago to serve truckers, travelers and Derrick’s employees.
Beaver has said he hopes Love’s will allow pastors to continue their ministry and counseling services even without the chapel.
Love’s has nearly 300 travel stops in 39 states, but none include an on-site ministry to her knowledge, Turner said.
“That’s not part of our plan for the building itself,” she said. “But we do recognize the importance of the chapel and want to see how we can continue the ministry since it will not be in our building.”
Love’s, a 50-year-old, family-owned company based in Oklahoma City, has started planning for the new facility, including environmental studies, Turner said.
It’s too soon to say which quick-service restaurant Love’s will offer at Peeler Road, she said.
Work that has taken place on the site so far, including removal of the gas pumps, has not been done by Love’s, Turner said.
“We are looking forward to putting a modern travel stop there that serves not only professional truck drivers but the community as well,” she said.
Love’s chose the Rowan County location because it has been underserved and is in a high-traffic area, she said.
“It fits well with our business model,” Turner said.
Last year, Love’s ranked No. 7 on the Forbes’ list of America’s largest private companies, making the biggest move on the list of 212 companies, jumping 11 spots from last year’s ranking of No. 18.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.