The Iowa 80 Truckstop in Walcott, IA, was founded when some of today’s drivers were just a gleam in their daddies’ eyes and Interstate 80 was not yet completed. This year, the truckstop is celebrating its 35th anniversary with special events for drivers throughout the year.
Standard Oil built and opened the truckstop in 1964, and Bill Moon took over management of it for Amoco in September 1965. Like many truckstops in existence at the time, Iowa 80 was a small facility that took up only a fraction of the space it does today, housing a small truckers store, one lube bay and a restaurant.
In 1984, Bill Moon bought the truckstop from Amoco and started expanding. Today, it bills itself as the largest truckstop in the world, with 700 parking spaces, full-service restaurant and fast food court, huge chrome shop, movie theater, barber shop, dental office, 24 private showers and more. In 1992, it became a Truckstops of America franchisee and Bill Moon passed away – but his family is still operating the truckstop, and also owns two truckstops in Missouri.
The Iowa 80 Truckstop is well-known among truckers for its annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree, now in its 20th year. This driver appreciation event, held in July, features a truck beauty contest, live entertainment, a pork chop cookout and an antique truck display.
“We’re going to do our main [anniversary] celebration at the Jamboree,” says Iowa 80 spokeswoman Delia Meier. “We’re going to have a huge cake, and fireworks on that Friday night.”
Throughout the year, Meier, says, the Iowa 80 will be celebrating America’s truckers. For instance, in February, the truckstop is working with a local school to make Valentines for the truckers.