Beloved Owner of Travel Stops in Washington State Dies
If you've driven 1-82, 395, I-5, or 90 you've probably stopped at any one of Love's Travel Stops on those highways. The owner of Love's Travel Stops, which owns and operates eight locations in Washington State, passed away yesterday at the age of 85.
Tom Love and his wife Judy started Love's in 1964 when they leased their first self-service gas station in Oklahoma. The gas crunch in the 1970's would force Tom Love to look as ways to set his business apart. In 1972 he merged his gas station with the "Mini Stop Country Store" and launching what would eventually become Love's Travel Stops.
By the end of the 70s Love's had 60 locations in five states. Adding more fare to their stores such as deli sandwiches, Love's grew to 100 stores by the end of 1981. Love also added another wrinkle as he opened the first truck stop on Interstate 40 in Amarillo Texas with self-service diesel.
In the mid 80s the company would evolve again adding novelties and then in the early 90s partnering with other established brands like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Baskin-Robbins, and others and taking on the shape that many of us have become familiar with on our travels around Washington State.
Love's operates eight travel stops across Washington State. Two are on I-5 in Napavine, Tacoma, and Arlington. Another is on US 97 off of 90 in Ellensburg. Wine Country Road in Prosser and Highway 261 in Ritzville are home to another pair of Love's Travel Stops. The most recent additions to Washington are Pritchard Rd. in Moses Lake and Kartchner St. in Pasco.