Petro Stopping Center Opening at Carl's Corner, Texas

May 01, 2011

The former "Willie's Place" truckstop at Carls' Corner, Texas, which closed after financial troubles, has become the 64th location in the Petro chain.

The Carl's Corner Petro underwent a $1.5 million improvement plan, including:

* A completely renovated, 198-seat Iron Skillet restaurant, including 30 outdoor patio seats;

* A new driver's lounge with a 55-inch flat screen high definition television and 16 leather La-Z-Boy seats;

* Seven completely remodeled showers;

* Two sets of renovated ladies and mens restrooms;

* A refreshed, 2,600-foot travel store;

* Over 100 truck parking spaces; and

* A new laundry room.

Additional amenities, including a Dunkin' Donuts, are expected to be added inside the building soon.

Willie's Place was sold at auction to Petro parent company TravelCenters of America in early March, following a foreclosure suit.

The truckstop and entertainment complex, situated on 15 acres off of I-35, was named after legendary country singer Willie Nelson. It officially opened in early 2009, featuring 12 fueling lanes for tractor-trailers plus a wide-load island; two restaurants; a convenience store; a saloon; a gift shop; and a 500-seat theater for live music performances. According to published reports, it had never turned a profit. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but the bankruptcy court allowed a creditor to foreclose on the operation.

President Carl Cornelius founded the town of Carl's Corner in the late 1980s to house Carl's Corner Truck Stop, and co-founded Willie Nelson Biodiesel Co. in 2004 with longtime friend Nelson to distribute BioWillie fuel.