WESTMORLAND — The Loves truck stop has officially opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, July 11, creating a place where locals and traveling drivers can relax and rest.
Westmorland mayor Ana Beltran said the Loves truck stop has been in the works for about nine years. Then-mayor Larry Ritchie worked tirelessly to get the truck stop up and running even before Loves signed on, according to Beltran.
Sean Gilliland, manager of Loves, said the Westmorland community’s response has been fantastic to the new station and that all hiring was local, within Westmorland and a 15-mile radius.
“When Loves comes in, we are all about the support of the communities as well,” said Gilliland.
The truck stop has seven showers, seven commercial fueling pumps, 18 gas pumps, and a fully functioning truck scale. There are also three fast food options: Subway, Chester’s Chicken, and Godfather’s Pizza, as well as a full travel shop with amenities.
Beltran stated that Loves has definitely had a positive impact on the community and has helped the local job pool. She added that the three restaurants have also added variety to Westmorland and provided more options, keeping business local instead of sending people all the way to Brawley.
“It’s very exciting to have the Loves here,” said Beltran. “We have a lot of local faces here and it’s nice to see them when you walk in. You feel at home.”
Representatives from Westmorland, Brawley, El Centro, Pioneers Memorial Hospital, Imperial Irrigation District, and others were present at the ribbon cutting.
Loves also donated $2,000 to the Westmorland Fire Department. Gilliland stated that every time a new Loves opens, the company donates to a local group or cause of the general manager’s choice. Gilliland chose the fire department because of all the work they do in the community. He added that Battalion Chief Michael Ginnis was the first to welcome Gilliland to Westmorland at his first city council meeting.
“They are the ones who you can call on to be there at three in the morning if they are needed,” said Ginnis.
The Westmorland Fire Department also blasted the parking lot with christening arches of water to celebrate the ribbon cutting.
Loves was founded in 1964 by Tom and Judy Love and continues to be family owned today. There are currently 490 Loves truck stops in the United States with 11 in California. The company slogan, “Clean places, friendly places,” is still the core of what the company does, said Gilliland.
“This is good for our town, and hopefully we get more businesses coming in,” said Mayor Beltran.