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Love’s Travel Plaza may be open by Spring

RIPLEY — A new travel plaza in the western part of Chautauqua County is continuing to progress.

A Love’s Travel Plaza is being constructed on Shortman Road in the town of Ripley, just off Interstate 90. Mark Geise, county Industrial Development Agency chief executive officer noted that the outside is mostly complete. He said the company will be doing some landscaping in the spring.

“They’re working on the interior. They expect to be completed by late January,” he said during a recent county IDA meeting.

If all works out, Geise said the company plans to open in the spring of 2022.

The new facility is a 22,000-square-foot travel center that sits on a 16-acre parcel located at 6201 and 6151 Shortman Road, where the former Colonial Restaurant and Hotel buildings were located. The travel center will include a convenience store, fueling islands, restaurant, repair center and related services.

Ripley Town Supervisor Doug Bowen said the town has a “host community agreement” for taxes, so that the development will help cover much of the costs of the water and sewer. That will not only benefit the plaza, it will also help other homeowners in the district and also could spur further development.

There is a Payment In Lieu of Taxes Agreement with the county as well. County IDA officials said previously the $12 million investment for the project is anticipated to net over $30 million in combined regional and New York State economic benefits over the life of the PILOT.

Bowen said he has not talked to company officials recently, but has a pretty good idea of what to expect. “It’s going to look like a typical Love’s Store in other areas,” he said during a phone interview.

Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores has more than 550 locations in 41 states, providing professional truck drivers and motorists with 24-hour access to clean and safe places to purchase gasoline, diesel fuel, Compressed Natural Gas, travel items, electronics, snacks, restaurant offerings, and more. Love’s Truck Care offers heavy-duty tire care, including TirePass, light mechanical services and roadside assistance. Love’s Hospitality provides a growing network of hotels and storage rental locations, and Love’s Financial offers freight bill factoring and back-office support to professional drivers.

In New York, Love’s has travel plazas in Bath, Binghamton, and Canaan, near Albany.

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