Truck-stop chain here to expand its reach
Alsaker Corp. hopes to buy two properties this year after adding three in 1998
Sandra HoskingApril 8th, 1999
Spokane-based Alsaker Corp., which owns a chain of Flying J truck stops, mostly in the Inland Northwest, is extending its geographical reach and hopes to acquire two more truck stops by the end of this year.
The company, which owns properties in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Nevada, is looking for properties to buy in Arizona, California, Wisconsin, and Iowa, says Dan Alsaker, the companys owner. As part of its outward expansion, the company bought three truck stops last year, including one in Battle Mountain, Nev., and one each in Bozeman and Hardin, Mont.
The Battle Mountain truck stop includes a restaurant, casino, and hotel. Spokanes Hospitality Associates Inc. operates the 71-room hotel, called Best Inn Battle Mountain. Alsaker Corp. recently completed a $300,000 remodeling project at the hotel, Alsaker says.
The truck stop in Bozeman includes a restaurant and casino. Alsaker Corp. plans this summer to build a 71-room hotel and a 40-space RV park there. Hospitality Associates will operate the hotel, but a name for that hotel hasnt been selected yet, Alsaker says. Alsaker Corp. currently is taking bids for that project, which is expected to begin in May and to be completed in October, he says. The company also plans to expand the casino and the truck stops showers and lounge area, he says.
Alsaker Corp. has been so busy acquiring truck stops outside of the Spokane area that it has relegated to a lower priority the construction of a long-planned, multimillion-dollar truck stop near the Interstate 90-Medical Lake interchange on the West Plains. Alsaker says the company has cleared earlier hurdles that hindered the project, which included poor soil conditions, a conflict involving a major communications line that crossed the property, and issues with the Washington state Department of Transportation over future improvements to the nearby interchange. After postponing the West Plains project several times, the company decided to pursue other expansion interests, Alsaker says. He says he hopes that the company will be able to begin developing the West Plains project either this fall or in the spring of 2000.
Separately, Alsaker Corp. has closed a free-standing Saks restaurant it had operated at 15606 E. Sprague Ave. near Sullivan Road. The 19-year-old restaurant was the companys only remaining free-standing restaurant. Several of its truck stops, however, continue to house Saks restaurants, Alsaker says. The company decided to close the restaurant because its lease had expired and the company has been growing mostly out of Spokane and has been focusing on the truck stops, he says.
The restaurant had employed 26 people, most of whom were relocated to other restaurants within the chain, Alsaker says.
Altogether, Alsaker Corp. employs about 400 people and owns a total of 33 truck stops, convenience stores, hotels, and restaurants. The companys Spokane-area operations include Broadway/Flying J Travel Plazas at 6606 E. Broadway Ave., at 3709 S. Geiger Boulevard, and at 400 N. Idahline Road in Post Falls; and a Comfort Inn at 6309 E. Broadway.