It was announced today at the Regular Meeting of the Walton County Board of County Commission that Love’s Travel Stops and County Stores will be opening a location at the County’s Mossy Head Industrial Park. This announcement signifies the first tenant to be located in the industrial park.



According to the announcement, Love’s will be opening a travel stop that will include a fuel station for diesel and passenger vehicles, a country store, a tire shop for trucks and two national franchise restaurants. According to early projections, the location will bring approximately 80 new full and part-time jobs to the area. In addition to the jobs that will be created, Love’s anticipates the sale of several million gallons of diesel fuel and over 2 million gallons of gasoline and several million dollars in retail and restaurant sales annually.



In addition to the success of securing a first tenant to the industrial park and the addition of jobs, once built, the new Love’s location will also provide an increase in annual fuel, sales and property tax revenue for Walton County.



To gain access to the Mossy Head Industrial Park, there have been several items agreed upon by Love’s and Walton County. Love’s has agreed to purchase a 15 acre parcel for $500,000 and will pay the costs to upgrade the roads, construct and operate the facility. Walton County has agreed to clear the site, construct the master storm water system and to build the interior road to Love’s specifications.



The parcel being purchased is located east of Highway 285 and between Highway 90 and Interstate 10. The main entrance to the station will be from Highway 285.



The anticipated opening of the new Love’s location is July of 2014. The County plans to execute the contract and provide a 120-day due diligence with the expectation of closing the property in November or December of this year. Pending the closing, there will be a bid for construction released with construction beginning sometime in January of 2014.



The members of the Walton County Board of County Commission are excited about the announcement and look forward to a partnership with Love’s Incorporated and the continued expansion of the Mossy Head Industrial Park.



“The announcement that Love’s will be placing a location in our Mossy Head Industrial Complex is great news for Walton County and its citizens. It is projected that this project will bring a mix of 80 full and part-time jobs to our county,” said Chairman and District 2 Commissioner Kenneth Pridgen. “I believe that this will jump start the entrance of further businesses to the complex.”



“The addition of the Love’s Corporation to the Mossy Head Industrial Park will give a good economic boost to the local economy,” said District 1 Commissioner Bill Chapman. “Not only will the county surly see positive direct economic earnings from their location here, but it will hopefully be a catalyst to draw additional businesses to the park and be a good first step towards the diversification of our local economy.”



According to District 3 Commissioner Bill Imfeld, “This is an exciting day for all of Walton County. This announcement and partnership with the Love’s Corporation means increased jobs, economic growth and stability for Walton County.”



Vice-Chair and District 4 Commissioner Sara Comander had a lot to say on the announcement. “I would like to thank the former County Commissioners and staff who had vision to begin and work on the Mossy Head Industrial Park. The County has been working towards this for a long time and their efforts have been fruitful. This would not have been possible without former Commissioner Larry Jones and his vision of what the park could be,” said Comander. “I am excited that Love’s will be our first tenant and believe that this is just the beginning of more good things to come including the production of more and better paying jobs. As a County, we love our tourists and that industry, but this is a first strong step towards the diversification of the County’s economy.”



Walton County District 5 Commissioner Cindy Meadows was quick to point out that local residents played a role in introducing Walton County to Love’s. “I have to give credit where credit is due,” said Meadows. “Thank you, Mr. Bill Fletcher and Mr. Art Miller for bringing Love’s Truck Stop to the attention of the EDA and Walton County.”




About Love’s Incorporated



• Founded in 1964 in Watonga, Oklahoma
• The Corporation is Privately held by the Love family
• Brands:
– Love’s Country Stores (Convenience Stores)
– Love’s Travel Stops (Interstate Highway Travel Centers)
– Gemini Motor Transport (Petroleum Fuel Hauler)
– Love’s Truck Tire Care (Tire Care and Roadside Assistance)
• Annual revenues of more than $17 billion
– Employees Approximately 10,000 people at more than 290 locations in 39 States
• Awards
– 2009 – Finalist for the Beacon Award presented by the Journal Record business publication for its “Making a Difference from the Heart” corporate philanthropy campaign.
– 2011 – Love's ranked No. 7 on the Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies, making the biggest move on the list of 212 companies, jumping 11 spots from 2010’s ranking of No. 18.
 



A PRESS RELEASE FROM DON GAETZ ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT



President Gaetz Celebrates Love's Travel Stops & Company Store Coming to the Mossy Head Industrial Parkin Walton County
Business expected to bring 80 new jobs and several million gallons in annual diesel fuel sales



Today, Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) congratulated the Walton County Commission, who approved a purchase by Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores of approximately 15 acres of land inside the Mossy Head Industrial Park in Defuniak Springs. Located off Interstate 10, Love’s new travel stop is projected to create a total of 80 new jobs and bring in several million gallons of fuel sales per year.



“Making the Panhandle the most business-friendly environment in the state, the Walton County Commission continues to bring strong businesses, like Love’s, to our communities,” said President Gaetz. “Today’s decision will not only generate revenue but also provide jobs for more than 80 Northwest Floridians. I look forward to our partnership with Love’s and hope to see more businesses invest their futures in our Northwest Florida communities.”



Construction is expected to begin in January 2014, with the grand opening projected for July 4, 2014. The travel shop will offer two national franchise restaurants along with automotive and truck facilities and services.



Founded in 1964 in Watonga, Oklahoma, Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores focus on providing friendly service and clean, modern facilities stocked with the fuel, food and supplies drivers need. With more than 290 locations in 39 states, Love’s operates two main facilities: Love’s Country Stores and Love’s Travel Stops.