Love’s opens in Lowndes County

Published 11:54 am Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Love’s opens in Lowndes County

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

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Love’s Travel Stops (Love’s) gives residents a new place to purchase fuel, meals, snacks and more in a Lowndes County.

The new Love’s in the Hope Hull area at 1127 Tyson Road (Interstate 65, Exit 158) officially opened for business today, Thursday, Dec. 14, adding approximately 70 new jobs to Lowndes County.

“With Hope Hull’s proximity to Montgomery, the new Love’s location is in a great position to serve many types of customers,” said Tom Love, founder and executive chairman of Love’s. “Residents and professional drivers traveling to and from Montgomery have a convenient place to stop for fuel and meals, and travelers continuing to the coastal areas can easily access services. We look forward to providing the ‘Clean Places, Friendly Faces’ Love’s is known for.”

According to the company, the 12,000-square foot facility features restaurants, including Chester’s Chicken, Godfather’s Pizza and Subway, a game room, laundry capabilities, gourmet coffee, fountain drinks, gift items, name-brand snacks and more. Professional drivers can take advantage of a Love’s Truck Tire Care center, 85 truck parking spaces, showers and other driver services.

The new store marks Love’s 13th location in Alabama, including another location in the Montgomery area in Shorter.

Nationwide, Love’s operates more than 440 stores in 41 states.

Also, in celebration of the new store, Love’s will hold a ribbon cutting in conjunction with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce in the coming weeks. During the ceremony, Love’s will present a $2,000 donation to Central High School, part of the Lowndes County School District.

Carnell McAlpine, chairman of the Lowndes County Commission said the store was brought to Lowndes County with the commission working with the Lowndes County Economic Development Commission and Lowndes County Industrial Development Board.

McAlpine said, “I’m hoping that half or more of those jobs will really be Lowndes County residents. And additionally, it is going to increase our tax base… I’m sure at least $300,000 or $400,000 per year with sales.”

He said, “We’re looking forwards to the Love’s Travel Stop. We’re expecting that the county will benefit.”

Jim Byard Jr. was director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) when Lowndes County applied for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to bring a Love’s to the county. Now, as the store opens, he is executive director of the Lowndes County Economic Development Commission (LCEDC).

Byard said when Lowndes County approached ADECA about the opportunity for a travel center, “From the ADECA side, it was a ‘no brainer’ on a CDBG because it was providing jobs to a rural county, and that’s important.” And, he said, former Governor Robert Bentley awarded the grant.

The grant was for $300,000 to provide infrastructure necessary to construct a refueling center and convenience/food store off Interstate 65 at the Tyson Road (Exit 158) intersection in Letohatchee.

Byard said the new Love’s means jobs, sales and fuel for Lowndes County. And he said, “The sales tax is a direct benefit to every citizen in Lowndes County whether they ever set foot in that Love’s or not because that money goes into the coffers of the Lowndes County Commission and helps run county government… provide for the sheriff’s department and the roads department.”

But he said the third benefit is that is provides an opportunity for restaurants, Chester’s Chicken, Godfather’s Pizza and Subway.

Byard said, “A Love’s Travel Center is one those economic development projects or retail projects that any county would like to see locate because it generates tax dollars immediately. And it’s a known quantity. If you say Love’s, everyone knows what that is.”

“It’s a nice, a week early Christmas present for the citizens of Lowndes County,” he said.

Love's opened in the Hope Hull area of Lowndes County on Thursday, Dec. 14, bringing about 70 new jobs to the county.

Love’s opened in the Hope Hull area of Lowndes County on Thursday, Dec. 14, bringing about 70 new jobs to the county