What a Year
By Tom O'Brien, President and CEO
Two thousand and eight will be a year that will be hard to forget. Record fuel prices, an economic downturn in the U.S., a global banking crisis, two ongoing foreign wars and a difficult hurricane season that knocked out a lot of refinery production near the end of the summer are matters we all wish we hadn’t had to face. For many people across the country, the close of 2008 can’t come soon enough.
But 2008 brought some good things, too, things to celebrate and to cheer about. Things that may come to mind at first are merely fleeting distractions, like the success of U.S. Olympians in China at the 2008 Summer Games. But the real reason to cheer is because our country, our economy and the upstanding Americans that make them both run are the greatest in the world and the most apt to overcome and recover from the hardships 2008 threw at us.
Your favorite travel centers saw a lot of changes during 2008 and we are busy planning for the future. During 2008 we completed over $100 million in capital projects that touched nearly every location. In all, we completed nearly 700 individual projects designed to increase your safety, security and comfort while you are on the road.
We also found ways to add some fun to your visits. Our game rooms offer free classic video games, like Space Invaders and Missile Command. If you like “old school,” come take some time at our Global Arcade. If you are into the latest and greatest, check out our ZaZoox kiosks, also in our game rooms, that are going up at most of our locations. ZaZoox gives you the ability to access the internet or to play online games like Halo. For those of our guests who have their own laptops, we have upgraded our WiFi hotspots.
Your Road King Club got an upgrade too, and frequent card users are being rewarded with more benefits, through our first full year of tiered membership. Chrome Club and Chrome Club Elite members earn more points with many of their purchases, more rewards and more benefits of membership.
In the past year we have offered more sweepstakes with bigger prizes, and made them easy to enter with the swipe of a Road King Club card. We’ve given away a racing prize package weekend, and our winner is going to the Daytona 500 in February. We’ve awarded two lucky drivers $25,000 in cash in our MegaShot Sweepstakes recently. And now we are giving away hundreds of prizes in the TA Holiday Gift Extravaganza Sweepstakes.
Now more than ever, it’s important to get value for your money. In 2009 TA will continue to offer you, our guest, a little something extra. Thank you for choosing TA.