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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — As travelers hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, they'll have the chance to check out Pilot Flying J's initiative to upgrade its bathroom facilities.
The Knoxville-based travel center operator is investing $50 million to renovate the restrooms at its more than 680 locations across North America. The upgrades include Italian tile, LED lighting, low-water consumption toilets and eco-friendly hand dryers.
Pilot Flying J has remodeled 110 restrooms in North America to date. High-traffic locations are among the first to unveil the renovated restrooms, including Milford, Conn.; Morris, Ill.; Mount Pleasant, Iowa; Lodi, Calif.; and Dallas.
The renovations will continue each year until all of the Pilot Travel Center and Flying J Travel Plaza restrooms are upgraded, according to the company.
"When traveling long distances, we understand it's the little things that matter most," said Ken Parent, chief operating officer for Pilot Flying J. "We see more than 1.4 million guests in our travel centers every day and the majority of them visit the restroom, as well as enjoy our food offerings, cold drinks and more. We aim to make their restroom experience as clean and comfortable as possible and are committed to taking care of every customer. This renovation — unlike anything else on the interstate — is one way to achieve that."
In addition to the restrooms, the company has spent $50 million over the past three years to upgrade its shower facilities.
"We strive to make the shower experience as comfortable as possible for all our guests when traveling, especially the professional drivers who are often away from home for several days at a time," Parent said. "For these drivers, our showers are a welcome and needed place for them to refresh, relax and recharge after long hours on the road. Taking good care of professional drivers, as well as our customers, is part of our DNA and that will never change."
Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America, has more than 680 retail locations. Its network provides more than 65,000 parking spaces for trucks, 4,400 showers and 4,000 diesel lanes, with more than 4,100 offering diesel exhaust fluid at the pump.