Say goodbye to the graffiti-riddled abandoned M&M truck stop south of Cortez, and say hello to Love’s Travel Stop and Country Store.
After more than a decade as an eyesore on the south porch of Cortez, the disintegrated truck stop at the corner of County Road G and U.S. Highway 160-491 is proposed for demolition.
Love’s Travel Stop has been working with the Montezuma County planning department to redevelop the property, said planning director Don Haley.
The company has a purchase agreement with property owner Jovian Petroleum, and the sale is pending. The project proposal is in the preliminary stages.
This month, the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety completed an environmental cleanup of fuel-contaminated soils at the site, which was needed for redevelopment to take place.
At its Thursday meeting, the planning commission recommended that zoning at the site be changed to industrial use and that a high-impact permit be issued for the new truck stop.
Dave Teyber, an engineer for Love’s, described the travel center. First the old truck stop building and canopies will be demolished and hauled away.
Love’s development plan includes a convenience store and at least one restaurant. There are five passenger fuel islands and four diesel fueling bays, a truck scale, dog park, RV dump and water, and a small propane tank filling station. Parking is planned for 55 to 60 passenger vehicles and 25 to 30 trucks.
“Love’s uses a national contractor, and they hire subcontractors from the local community,” Teyber said.
He said details about the restaurant have not been finalized. It might be a food court, a combination of food-service vendors or fast food tenant. A timeline for construction was not revealed.
A water consultant is studying adequate water service and pressure for the new business.
The site has access to sewer and power. Part of the planning process for the new business is determining required adequate infrastructure, and whether upgrades are needed, planning officials said.
Cortez Fire Protection District will provide guidance for a fire hydrant location, and pipes servicing the hydrant will be upgraded from a 2-inch line to a 3-inch line, officials said.
The existing entrances off County Road G will be used for the new truck stop.
A traffic study to Colorado Department of Transportation standards will be conducted at the intersection of Road G and the highway to determine whether additional traffic safety features are needed, Teyber said.
Love’s, based in Oklahoma City, has more than 530 stores in 41 states, according to its website. The 24-hour fuel station targets high travel areas and truck routes, and caters to professional drivers.
Teyber expressed confidence in the project, noting that it is contingent on a successful land and infrastructure planning process.
“It’s been an eyesore for years, a truck stop is a nice marriage for the port of entry weigh station that is next door,” said planning commissioner Rob Pope. “Trucks are already using that access.”
“It’s great to see that site cleaned up,” said planning commissioner Joel Stevenson. “(The truck stop) will provide more employment for the county.”