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Demolition To Clear Way For Future Travel Site

Crews have begun tearing out the former Colonial Squire Motel and Restaurant. They have been vacant for more than 15 years. A new Love’s Travel Stop and Country Stores will be built in its place. Photo by William Gutz

RIPLEY — A longtime empty motel and restaurant are finally being demolished to make way for a new travel center near I-90.

Demolition began this week on the former Colonial Squire Motel and Restaurant in the town of Ripley. The buildings are being knocked down to make way for the new Love’s Travel Stop and Country Stores.

According to Ripley Supervisor Douglas Bowen, Love’s has all the necessary permits from the town to begin construction once the old buildings are removed. There may be some state Department of Transportation permits required, but he’s confidence they’ve either been approved or will be shortly.

“They’ve done this before,” he said during a phone interview Thursday.

Bowen said Love’s is expected to be up and running possibly before the end of the year, something local residents are excited about. “It’s been a good response. Everybody’s happy something is coming,” he said.

Photo by William Gutz

Bowen noted the restaurant has been empty for at least 10-15 years and the motel even longer. The difficulty getting someone else to move there was that there was no public water or sewer. They had used private wells and septic tanks when they were in business.

Once the town made the commitment to get water and sewer lines to Shortman Road, near the final New York exit on Interstate 90, Love’s reached out to the town and decided they wanted to place one of their travel stops there.

Love’s Travel Stop and Country Stores are known throughout the country. The company was founded in 1964 and are headquartered in Oklahoma City. They have more than 530 locations in 41 states, providing motorists 24 hour access. They offer heavy duty tire repair, mechanical services and roadside assistance. They have more than 28,000 employees in their travel stops and managers can earn between $60,000 to $80,000 a year.

Officials with the county Industrial Development Agency said previously this is a $13,325,000 project. The terminal is scheduled to be 22,000 square feet and sit on a 16 acre parcel.

The development is expected to create 100 construction jobs and another 43 full time positions once its in operation.

Mark Geise, deputy county executive for economic development and county IDA chief executive officer, believes Love’s Travel Stop and Country Stores has many benefits.

“Love’s is a great project for many reasons. Not only does it create jobs and tax revenues for the county, it also results in host payments which help to significantly offset the cost of water and sewer infrastructure which would have been borne by the town taxpayers. This needed infrastructure, in turn, will result in this area being more attractive for future development, resulting in more jobs and commerce. I’m proud of the work our economic development team did, working collaboratively with Love’s and the town of Ripley, to bring this project to fruition,” he said.

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