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Love’s pulls plug on controversial I-90 truck stop in Montana

Company had government approval and had started some work but local opposition remained fierce

Love’s has killed plans to build a truck stop near Ramsay, Montana, a tiny town on Interstate 90, following fierce opposition from local residents.

The decision not to proceed with the truck stop comes even as Love’s, in a culmination of a five-year effort, received the final approval it needed from the Butte-Silver Bow Board of Adjustment. Ramsay is located in Silver Bow County, and Butte is the nearest city. According to local media reports, the vote authorizing the truck stop was 5-0.

The end result is that Love’s could have gone ahead with the construction but chose not to. 

“We are thoughtful about where we choose to locate our Love’s Travel Stops,” Love’s said in a statement released to the local media in Montana. “Professional truck drivers identified the location along Interstate 90 as an underserved part of Montana for safe, clean and well-maintained places to stop as they deliver essential goods.”

Local media reports cited residents’ fears that crime and safety might be negatively impacted by the truck stop. Those same reports said there were plans to appeal the 5-0 vote. 

Caitlin Campbell, a spokeswoman for Love’s, told FreightWaves the decision to not pursue the truck stop in Ramsay would not affect its other growth plans. She said Love’s has opened 15 locations in 2022 and has plans to add approximately 35 more by the end of the year.

For the past several years, Love’s annual forecast on the number of parking spots it plans to add is generally near 3,000 and it has regularly hit that number, according to its annual statement on its construction plans. Love’s does not charge a fee for parking. 

An article in The Montana Standard from June said Love’s had begun some construction at the site after the issuance of building permits, but a judge’s order had stopped that work. That article described Ramsay as being 5 square miles with 40 houses.

“From the project’s beginning five years ago and at every point thereafter, Love’s has complied with applicable laws and permitting procedures,” the company said in its local news release. “This culminated in the recent affirmation by the Board of Adjustment of Love’s building permits, clearing the way for the company to continue construction.”

Local news coverage of the decision focused on the reaction of residents. In an article on the website of Butte CBS affiliate KXLF, local resident Michelle O’Bill was quoted as saying: “Oh, it’s like we won the lottery. I’m so happy. I’m just thrilled to death.”

“Love’s recognizes that some Ramsay citizens and leaders took exception to bringing a Travel Stop to the area,” the company said in its statement. “A core tenet of our company’s values is that our locations maintain strong connections to all communities we serve through local job growth, career development, positive economic impacts and philanthropic support. We will continue these local commitments and support our valued customers and employees in communities across the United States.”

Love’s has three other locations in Montana: Great Falls on Interstate 15 and Missoula and Hardin, both on I-90.

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  1. Time to have a Trucking shut down we deserve better. We could really make an impact with just 2 weeks. I’m with it, who else is we could make it work. If we could just organize for 50% of all trucks to shut down for 2 weeks. We win!

  2. I’ve lived in Montana all my life , and trucked I 90 for 39 years .Butte MT ( only a few miles from Ramsay)is the main office and hub
    of Town Pump truck stops and gas stations ,with 2 of them a mere 5 miles from Ramsay ,in Rocker Mt
    The Canelli ( may be spelled wrong)family was no way going to let competition to move in on their territory……especially so close to their home turf…… money has power , and they have plenty …it’s to bad too Loves are nice truck stops , would have been a welcome edition to the state ….

    1. This is very disappointing. As a Montanan and Truck Driver, I have been to Canadian and USA stops. Ramsay is demographically a “safe community”. Shame on Ramsay. If they would have done their research, they would have found that if Love’s CHOSE that area to build, they CHOSE the community. Love’s supports their local communities. I worked for Love’s as well in Clayton, NM. They have no idea the local financial support they have lost to community events and organizations. Love’s: LOVES. They pay better, their Managers treat you like family and NOT a number. Love’s sent a huge message to the community of Ramsay as well as any other town: “We have the approval to build, but we will NOT if we are not welcome.” How many companies just move ahead regardless? Good for you, Love’s!!!! Ever lose the winning ticket without realizing the loss? Ramsay just lost the winning ticket and has set a future precedent which will have potential businesses which would benefit a healthy community from moving in to Ramsay. Man. This really saddens me. Truckstops don’t “bring” bad seed. The bad seed already has to be in place in that community. Thanks for letting Love’s know in time what kind of community they were wanting to join. One more thing: Love’s is the “Ritz” of Truckstops now to Drivers and travellers.

  3. So rather than give truckers a safe place to park when they have run their clocks out delivering or just passing through, they would rather see them park on a on or off ramps endangering the truck driver or cars using the ramps. Make perfect sense to me. It always strikes me funny that people want what the trucks carry, but they do not want the trucks to bother them. California bay area and Los Angles are prime candidates for this theory matter of fact most towns in America subscribe to it truck are an annoyance, but I want my store full of goods to buy

  4. Like everyone else, people love to get all the things trucking brings to them, but they all hate truckers.

    Pretty simple solution for those folks. They should all learn to live without everything trucks bring so that they can exist, and they’ll never have to see another truck or driver again.

  5. Same thing happened to a planned truckstop in ont last year with 130 spots and a repair shop and 24 spots for sick drivers to stay. To keep drivers we need to have more good parking with services

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.