By Thomas Garcia
About 40 people crowded the south east entrance to the Flying J Travel Plaza Tuesday for its ribbon cutting ceremony.
Customers and Flying J officials and employees enjoyed live music from Eastern New Mexico Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Association. Interim Tucumcari Mayor Jim Witcher and Chamber Of Commerce president Carol Keith welcomed the new facility to Tucumcari and wished it much success.
Even before the grand opening ceremonies the Flying J’s regular and diesel fuel lanes were packed with customers.
“I stop at Flying J every chance I get, I absolutely love the prices and service that you get at a Flying J,” said Wayne Hanson of Silver Bay, Minn. “It is great to have one here in Tucumcari. I usually type Flying J into my GPS and locate one so I can fuel up.”
This is the third Flying J Travel Plaza in New Mexico with the other two located in Albuquerque and Lordsburg. There are 111 employees at the Flying J, according to General Manager Dan Boyd. The Travel plaza in Tucumcari has eight diesel lanes and 12 gasoline pumps with two lanes designated for RV’s, Boyd said. It is built on 14 acres, that has parking for 136 semi tractor-trailers and J-Scales.
“I expect the business to be successful here and bring economic growth to Tucumcari,” Boyd said. “Many truckers are excited that we have opened this location between Albuquerque and Amarillo.”
The plaza has showers, a driver’s lounge with a television and a game room, Boyd said. The plaza also offers a Country Market Restaurant & Buffet. The facility’s full-serve dining area provides seating for 143 guests and is open 24 hours for travelers.
Other items for sale include novelty spices, John Deere merchandise, DVD’s, electronics, audio books, video games and specialty items such as metal models, clocks, picture frames.