NATSO to fight commercialized rest stops

NATSO, a trade association representing U.S. travel plazas and truckstops, said the Bush administration is seeking to commercialize rest areas around the country. According to NATSO, the legislation would allow states to conduct rest area commercialization pilot projects, which would result in the closure of many interchange-based businesses such as truckstops and travel plazas, restaurants, motels,

NATSO, a trade association representing U.S. travel plazas and truckstops, said the Bush administration is seeking to commercialize rest areas around the country.

According to NATSO, the legislation would allow states to conduct rest area commercialization pilot projects, which would result in the closure of many interchange-based businesses such as truckstops and travel plazas, restaurants, motels, gas stations and convenience stores.

"NATSO will fight against this anti-business, anti-trucking, anti-community provision and lead a coalition campaign to ensure its defeat," president & CEO William D. Fay said.

Fay said the plan would force the closure of many established businesses on the Interstate Highway System, which would devastate business owners who have invested in its communities.

In 1997, researchers at the University of Maryland documented that interchange businesses would lose between 60 to 70% of sales if Interstate commercialization were to occur. While the state might make more money, the study said the tax base of local governments would shrink.

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