Click photo to enlarge
UNDER CONSTRUCTION -- Work continues on the Tularosa Travel Center... (J.R. Oppenheim/Daily News)
Travelers on U.S. Highway 70/54 soon will have new opportunities for a pleasant break from their driving.
The first week of November is the scheduled opening date for the new Tularosa Travel Center at the southern edge of Tularosa.
The travel center will offer six fueling pumps for over-the-road
trucks, and 12 pumps for passenger traffic. It will feature a retail
store, gift shop and restaurant 9 The La Rosa.
The project, which encompasses 10,000 square feet and cost
approximately $3 million to build, is the brain child of local pecan
grower Jay Glover.
Glover initially set out on a mission to eliminate the middle man from his pecan business.
"We decided to get in the pecan retail business and this whole project
stemmed from that approach," Glover said. "That's how we ended up with
the facility we have now."
Glover, and his father Johnny Glover, have been growing pecans in
Tularosa since 1969. Until recently, they just grew the pecans and sold
them to shellers. The shellers harvest the meat from the pecans, and
then sell them to the end-user 9 candy makers, restaurants and retail
Glover wanted to eliminate that middle man and sell pecans directly. With that in mind, he bought a retail
pecan store and mail order business in Roswell, with the idea of
eventually moving that operation to Tularosa. The Tularosa Travel
Center is the culmination of big dreams made even bigger.
Glover started thinking about moving his mail order business to
Tularosa, he began seeing the possibilities of corridor on Highway
"We saw an opportunity to draw on all that tourism business that's
going through," Glover said, adding that his ideas stem from what
pistachio growers have done with visitors centers and retail outlets.
Glover's operation will seek to draw customers traveling between Texas and Ruidoso, as well as local customers.
The La Rosa Restaurant will be open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day.
"We are going to serve three meals a day. But in the evening, it will
become an upper scale steak house serving steak, seafood dishes and so
forth," Glover said, adding that he has hired a professional chef 9
formerly of the upscale Incredible Restaurant in Ruidoso 9 to operate
"We wanted to make it an upscale travel center. That's what we want, is
to be part of what we view as that Highway 70/54 tourist corridor."
According to Tularosa Mayor Ray Cordova, the travel center is the most
recent and most visible sign of rapid growth in Tularosa.
"Anytime you go into business, it's a gamble, and he decided to take a
pretty big one. But I think that thing is really going to produce and
I'm all for it," Cordova said.