More than a year after it abruptly closed, a one time busy Ohio County rest stop reopens with new operators and a new look.

The Western Kentucky Parkway Travel Center near Beaver Dam celebrated its ribbon cutting this afternoon, as a Hucks gas station.

“It’s kind of a tradition. You say Beaver Dam and people think of the area we’re standing at right now,” says Lincoln Rowe of Beaver Dam.

For the customers and Hucks officials, this day marked the start of a new tradition.

“It’s nice,” says Brenda Thompson of Hopkinsville. “It looked better than it was last time. It’s alright.”

“We are so excited,” adds Darnell Harvey, Director of H.R. for Hucks. “We are very proud of the facility.”

Hucks officials agreed to a twenty year deal with the state to renovate and operate the rest stop. The 24/7 facility, as popular with residents as it is with travelers, now open to what state officials estimate is the more than 10,000 travelers who drive this stretch of the parkway each day.

“The day we opened, there was an influx of folks very appreciative,” Harvey says. “Customers that travel this way, to and from each day, that have been historically accustomed to a place to get food, products.”

In January of last year, it closed due to liability issues after an agreement between the state and the rest area’s previous vendor ended, leaving a dozen people out of work. Some are thankful to have this rest area, and the visitors who stop here, back.

“We’re not really worried about the brand name, but we’re excited that we have people stopping in our community and investing in our community again,” Rowe says.

Hucks officials also say this is their first location in Ohio County. They also operate travel plazas similar to this one  in other parts of Kentucky and Illinois.

The rest area was originally scheduled to re-open back in late January, but was delayed due to construction issues.

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(This story was originally published on March 16, 2018)