Business
9:12 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Fayette's auto plaza gains spotlight, patrons from 'Truck Stop Missouri'

The Travel Channel show “Truck Stop Missouri” takes place at the Midway Auto Truck Plaza in Fayette, Missouri.  The show’s gathered a lot of attention here in mid-Missouri – but how helpful is all the attention? KBIA’s Ryan Schmidt visited Fayette, and asked local proprietors there about the show’s impact on business. 

Maymie Wallace has worked at the Midway Family Restaurant for 37 years.  She says it’s just a fun place to work:  “I think it’s more of a family restaurant, and people come here and they’re comfortable.  We try to make them at ease, and they enjoy it.”

Midway owner Joe Bechtold says the restaurant and other parts of the truck stop are receiving more attention lately, because the show “Truck Stop Missouri” is shot here.  He says he likes the attention, but did a lot of research before accepting the Travel Channel’s offer:  “Seeing who the production company was, and what type of shows they filmed, and also who the network was-it’s the Travel Channel.  The fact it was the Travel Channel and the production company that was going to be producing the show does Pawn Stars and a few other shows that I would say have integrity.”

Bechtold estimates that business is up 15 to 20 percent because of the show.

A short drive from the diner and convenience store is the Midway Expo Center and Antique Mall.  Manager Roy Clark says that a lot of people who come to the truck stop also come to the antique mall, which leads to an increase in his business. Says Clark:“That’s just free advertising that you just can’t buy.  It’s been a wonderful boost in the arm for the antique mall plus our expansion and everything, along with the television show, we’ve become awfully popular.”

Back at the diner, Wallace says people have strong connections to the show.“Sometimes they’ll ask us

waitresses to get together and have our pictures taken so they’ll have memories of the show and the

place.”

Bechtold says drivers on I-70 should start seeing new billboards for the truck stop, with an “as seen on the Travel Channel” logo.  They’ll also notice another change.   The Travel Channel says it’s changing the name of the show to “Truck Stop USA,” to open the show to a broader audience.  The show’s second season starts in 2012.