Builders will break ground on a new truck stop targeting oil traffic near Grassy Butte in a few weeks.
Sweet Crude Travel Center will be at the southeast corner of the intersection of Highways 200 and 85. The building will be 13,500 square feet with 12 acres of land for parking, said Brett Narloch, managing partner.
The center will include diesel fuel pumps, laundry service, a lounge, showers, toiletries and food service. Narloch said the food service will be quick but it will not be the traditional fast food travelers get at convenience stores. One idea the developers had was to provide meat and grills for truckers to cook their own steaks.
“Clearly there’s a need out there,” Narloch said. “We’ll provide everything the Bakken oil worker needs.”
Narloch also said there will be plenty of turnaround space for trucks and fuel pumps will be set up for quick operation to help avoid long lines.
Developers have not decided on hours for the travel center yet, but it will be open at least 18 hours a day, Narloch said. There will also be room for truckers to park overnight.
“That’s why we’re making it so big,” Narloch said. “There’s nothing else of this size in the area.”
Narloch said the company has immediate access to an additional 30 acres if it is needed and could expand even further. Construction will be complete in spring 2013.
Though the travel center is being built in response to oil field traffic, Narloch said the company is confident it will be able to adjust its business model for the long term if the boom goes bust.
“There’s no question that we’re heavily dependent on oil but we’re confident it will last many years,” he said.
More information is available at www.sweetcrudetc.com.