By Megan Rule | Staff Writer
A recently opened Road Ranger, a mid-west based travel center and gas station, in Lacy Lakeview is starting to see sparks in business due to its prime location off Interstate 35.
“Traffic has been picking up since we opened in November,” Steve Brooks, general counsel for Road Ranger, said. “As a whole, the travel center business has been picking up and getting more active, and we’re very pleased with how the site has been doing. The community of Lacy Lakeview could not have been better to work with.”
Brooks said it was a year-long process to get the travel center built by the time the property was found and the contract was formed. However, through working with Lacy Lakeview, the project became a three and a half month process from the moment they broke ground to the moment it opened for business. Brooks said this is the 8th Road Ranger center in Texas and the 39th Road Ranger in the chain, which is primarily in the mid-west and Texas.
“It’s one of our largest facilities that we’ve ever built,” Brooks said. “We’re very proud of the site, we think it looks great and offers a wide variety of options for the professional truck driver and for the regular four wheel drive customer.”
Brooks said that for a travel center, there is quite a variety of food options. The center offers Church’s Chicken, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, and Ranger’s own proprietary food offerings. These include Tejas Taco, which offers a variety of taco and burrito options. Brooks said for the professional driver, there are showers and 100 parking spots for trucks.
As with any new place, it takes time for people to know that it is there and open for business, Brooks said. Traffic has been steadily picking up, but Brooks said the first few days, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in particular saw long lines.
“We think we’re in a great location right off the interstate,” Brooks said. “It’s got great visibility for those traveling through Waco in between Dallas and San Antonio. It’s got great frontage to the interstate. When you drive past the site, it faces right towards the interstate. It’s got great visibility and a great presence to the interstate that it will peak your curiosity next time you go back.”
The Lacy Lakeview location offers low gas prices and food options for Baylor students traveling north on I-35 from campus.
“It’s awesome that we have a nice new facility to stop at while traveling down I-35,” Edmond, Okla., sophomore Jessica Borsky, said. “It will be so helpful and convenient when traveling.”
Brooks said he believes it helped the local job market since about 60 jobs created upon opening. Brooks emphasized that the Lacy Lakeview area could not have been more welcoming, and that it great to do business in a community that is willing to work with a business.
“We’ve got a great staff there. They are hardworking, friendly, give great customer service, and they’re excited about the site and excited to work there,” Brooks said. “The majority of our employees came right from that area.”
Road Ranger tends to stay very competitive with the gas market and is always conscious of price, Brooks said. The Road Ranger fuel uses Top Tier detergent additives which claim to help the engine run smoother, more efficiently and longer, according to the website.
The new travel center is located at 6610 S. I-35 in Lacy Lakeview.