Flying J’s to flank Toronto

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (Aug. 23, 1999) — Flying J, North America’s largest truck stop operator, plans to open at least two new travel plazas in Canada before the end of next year, both along Hwy. 401 on either side of metropolitan Toronto.

“When we look at locations along strategic, high-traffic corridors, the area around Toronto has been under-served,” said Alan Stewart, vice-president of restaurant operations at Flying J, which grosses $390 million US a year from 165 locations.

“We will be on both the east and west sides of the city by the end of 2000, and at some point we will be in Western Canada,” he said. “We’re on a growth curve to build 20 to 30 locations a year, and we see Canada as an important market because of the volume of commercial traffic, the proximity to other Flying J locations, and the lack of comparable services. What relatively little exposure we’ve had there has been very successful.”

Flying J has one established truck stop in Canada, at Vaudreuil on Hwy. 540 near Montreal. The site has a restaurant, driver’s lounge, laundry, showers, convenience store, 109 parking spaces, scales, and a permit office, but no tire service, repair shop, or motel.

A second travel centre is expected to be built near London, Ont., by the end of 1999.

Stewart would not elaborate on the size and scope of the new locations. Flying J typically builds three styles of truck stop, with parking lots designed to handle between 50 and 350 vehicles.

In addition to its travel centre business, Flying J operates Big West Oil & Gas, a producer of oil and natural gas, and a refinery near Salt Lake City. In 1998, it was No. 108 on the Forbes Magazine listing of the 500 biggest private companies in the United States with $2.3 billion in annual revenue.

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