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TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA) opened a Texas location this week and announced plans to open a large new truck stop location in Tennessee early next year.

On Wednesday, a TA Express franchise location opened in Mt. Vernon, Texas, off of I-30 at Exit 147. The location was formerly Duke’s Travel Plaza.

The Mt. Vernon location features amenities including 53 truck parking spaces, Cotton Belt BBQ and Taco Casa restaurants, private showers, laundry facilities, and an “elaborate dog park.”

On Thursday, TA also announced plans to open a franchised Petro Stopping Center in Monteagle, Tennessee, in the first quarter of 2021.

The truck stop will be located off I-24 at exit 135.

TA says that the new location will feature more than 300 truck parking spaces.

Other planned amenities include Papa John’s, Bojangles’ and Betty’s Kitchen restaurants, a barber shop, a fitness center, a driver’s lounge, and pet washing facilities.

“We’re proud to bring hundreds of jobs to the area and provide an oasis for all the hard-working commercial drivers who provide for all of us by transporting essential items to everyone in the nation,” said Brian Graber. “We look forward to our new business endeavor and serving the community of Monteagle, and the traveling public,” added Tammy Graber.

In April, TA was forced to lay off approximately 3,000 workers amid COVID-19 shut downs, “primarily as a result of its full-service restaurant closures.”

Since then, the company has shifted strategies to focus on franchising to convert existing truck stops to TA branded locations. TA says that they’ve signed 18 new franchise agreements since 2019.

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