Right off Exit 205 in Butts County sits the newest travel center in the Atlanta metro area.
Jones Petroleum opened the JP Travel Center Monday, aiming to appeal to the family unit, said Jones Petroleum CEO Bill Jones.
“If you’re accustomed to making trips here and beyond, and you’ll stop at the rest areas for a break and go to the restroom, we’ve put together a facility that will put together those interests,” Jones said.
The facility consists of a 23,000-square-foot building complex that houses a Burger King, a Dunkin’ and a Subway, a large retail facility for the convenience store and 32 fueling positions for automobiles.
Inside that convenience store is standard fare normally seen at convenience stores, as well as gifts and general merchandise, and a section for Georgia Grown products that Jones said will highlight products made or produced in the state.
Jones said the facility has 3,000 square feet dedicated to men’s and women’s restrooms.
“That’s something on the scale you might see at the Atlanta airport,” he said. “These individual restrooms are larger than you’d see at the Atlanta airport.”
For instance, the women’s restroom has 20 stalls that are built to afford “all the privacy in the world” for those that use them, due to the fact the stalls have individual solid doors, rather than the metal dividers seen at roadside rest areas.
In the rear of the building, truckers will have their own area for fueling, as well as their own separate entrance and restroom and shower facilities, not to mention retail areas for their needs and an area for them to do laundry.
“It’s a fairly complete approach to a travel center,” Jones said. “I don’t think it has a peer in the state for its size for the motoring public and truck traffic.”
Jones explained that truck parking is at a premium partially because of regulations that limit the amount of hours a trucker can be on the road for any given day.
“It’s why you see so many trucks on the shoulders of the ramps,” he said. “We’re clearing an area, 10 acres for dedicated truck parking that’ll be somewhat removed from this site.”
That truck traffic is expected to increase in the coming years with the deepening of the Port of Savannah, which will allow that port to take in larger cargo ships.