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The Suburbanite
  • Gulliver’s truck stop closed; replacement in the works

  • The Gulliver’s 77 Truck Stop has closed, but plans filed with the county indicate that Pilot Flying J plans to build a larger truck stop at the site.

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  • A larger truck stop appears to be in the works for the Interstate 77 and Faircrest Street SW interchange.
    Gulliver’s 77 Truck Stop closed late Thursday night and isn’t expected to reopen. The company’s controller, Tom Quinn, said Gulliver’s is closed pending a sale.
    The buyer appears to be the Pilot Flying J chain of truck stops and travel centers, although a spokesman for Knoxville, Tenn.-based company didn’t return a telephone call seeking comment.
    But county records show the company has plans to purchase Gulliver’s, raze the site and build a larger facility.
    In October, the Pilot Flying J filed a site plan with the Stark County Regional Planning Commission indicating a 90-foot-by-160-foot building with a restaurant would be built at the site. Plans also included fueling stations for passenger vehicles and tractor trailers, tractor scales and parking.
    The planning commission approved the site plan, but required Pilot Flying J to meet several conditions. The food service operations will be reviewed by the Stark County Health Department, while utility plans plumbing must be studied by Canton officials because the city will provide water.
    The plan also requires a discharge permit from Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency and a storm and water pollution prevention plan must be sent to the Stark County Soil & Water Conservation offices.
    County officials have been told that Pilot Flying J intends to buy to property.
    The closing affects about 30 Gulliver’s employees, as well as several small businesses that lease space in the travel plaza.
    Brian Ball, a chiropractor who had an office in the building, was surprised when he arrived Friday morning to find the plaza had closed. He had received advance warning, but didn’t expect changes until March 1.
    Ball has maintained an office at Gulliver’s since 2007 and offers physicals for drivers to meet transportation department approval. Ball said he found new office space at 6725 Promway Ave. NW in Jackson Township, next to the Travel Centers of America truck stop at the I-77 interchange with Portage Street NW.
    Another tenant is Landstar agent Secrest Direct, which provides logistic services with truck owner operators. Employees still manned the phones in the office Friday.
    Gulliver’s opened in May 1990, but struggled early and landed in bankruptcy within a year. It reopened during the summer of 1993.