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Iowa 80 Truckstop celebrates 50 years

Iowa 80 currently serves 5,000 customers per day and has parking spaces for 900 tractor-trailers, 250 cars and 20 buses.

The Trucker News Services

1/6/2014

WALCOTT, IOWA — Iowa 80 Truckstop began serving truckers out of a small white enamel building in 1964 before Interstate 80 was completely built. Bill Moon, Iowa 80 founder, located the spot, at what is now Exit 284, for Standard Oil. They built and opened the truck stop with Moon taking over management a year later, in 1965.

Years passed, Interstate 80 was completed and hundreds, then thousands of truckers and travelers stopped by Iowa 80 to fuel, grab a bite to eat and head on down the road.  In 1984, Standard Oil (now Amoco) decided to sell the facility. Moon, who had been managing the place for nearly 20 years, jumped at the chance.  He and his wife Carolyn, leveraged everything they had, including borrowing money from friends, to purchase Iowa 80. 

Once the Moon Family owned Iowa 80, they could expand the building and add services as needed. 

“Bill just loved everything about trucks and trucking,” Carolyn Moon said. “He loved to sit at the counter in the restaurant and talk to drivers about what would make their life easier if Iowa 80 had it. He truly enjoyed the truck stop business and all of the people he encountered.”

Today, after 28 expansions and remodels, Iowa 80 is overseen by the second generation of the Moon Family, and includes the Iowa 80 Kitchen, a 300-seat restaurant; gift store, the Super Truck Showroom, a dentist, a barber shop, a chiropractor, a workout room, laundry facilities, a 60-seat movie theatre, a trucker’s TV lounge, a Verizon store kiosk, 24 private showers, a Food Court featuring Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, Orange Julius, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Caribou Coffee; a convenience store, a custom embroidery and vinyl shop, 10 gas islands, 16 diesel lanes, a fuel center, a 7-bay truck service center, a 3-bay Truck-o-mat truck wash, a CAT Scale, a Dogomat Pet Wash, and the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum.

“It is really amazing to have reached this milestone,” said Delia Moon Meier, senior vice president. “We are so fortunate to have such wonderful, dedicated employees and loyal customers. They are such an integral part of our success.”

Iowa 80 currently serves 5,000 customers per day and has parking spaces for 900 tractor-trailers, 250 cars and 20 buses. Each year in July, the Iowa 80 hosts the Walcott Truckers Jamboree, a 3-day event dedicated to Celebrating America’s Truckers. Last year attendance hit a record 42,000 people.

“Without truck drivers doing the job they do, our economy wouldn’t function. We appreciate their hard work and the Walcott Truckers Jamboree is our way of saying Thank You,” Meier said.

On the occasion of its anniversary, Iowa 80 listed several fun facts

The truck stop:

• Serves 2 million cups of coffee per year

• Uses 55 miles, or 775 rolls, of toilet paper each month

• Sells an average of 53 tons of beef per year, enough to fill 106 pick-up trucks

• Sells an average of 58 tons of port per year, enough to fill 116 pick-up trucks

• Has a high-rise sign that sits in 1.3 million pounds of concrete

• Averages serving 5,000 customers a day, and

• Over its 50-year history, the Iowa 80 has served over 18 million eggs to over 70 million customers.

 A book celebrating Iowa 80’s 50 years in business is underway and will be available this spring. For more information about Iowa 80, visit www.iowa80truckstop.com or find Iowa 80 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/iowa80WLT.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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