Press Releases

July 12, 2017

Howe Travel Plazas Now Open; HMSHost, ITR Concession Co, Sunoco Celebrate

Travelers at Milepost 126 are welcomed with Refresh & Co., Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Starbucks® Coffee. Sunoco also opens new fuel station and APlus convenience store

image of ribbon cutting

From left to right: Alyssa Staley, Jeamy Molina, and Michael Price.

HOWE, IN — Spruce up your next road trip on the Interstate 80/90 Indiana Toll Road—pull off for a bite to eat at the new travel plazas in Howe, Indiana. Two new state-of-the-art plaza facilities opened their doors to the public on July 3 in time for the busy holiday travel; Gene S. Porter Travel Plaza for drivers on the eastbound side and Ernie Pyle Travel Plaza for the westbound side. Global restaurateur HMSHost, the ITR Concession Company LLC, and Sunoco gathered today to officially celebrate the grand opening and welcome drivers stopping in for food, relaxation, and fuel. Each plaza offers leading food and beverage options from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Starbucks® coffees, and an HMSHost brand called Refresh & Co.

In celebration of the plaza’s opening in the community, a joint grant of $7,500 was made to the Faith Mission of Elkhart, Inc. by HMSHost Foundation, whose mission is to fight the root causes of poverty, the ITR Concession Company, and Sunoco. Faith Mission is a locally-based social service agency which provides food, shelter, clothing and other services for homeless individuals.

“HMSHost is very excited to celebrate the opening of Howe Travel Plaza on the Indiana Toll Road,” said HMSHost Vice President of Business Development Michael Price. “We thank our partners with the Indiana Toll Road and the brands for their important roles in delivering this modern facility for the enjoyment of Indiana travelers. Howe will now be a destination stop for hungry drivers for the rest of the summer and for many years to come.”

Alongside popular national brands, Refresh & Co. is a concept by HMSHost that offers drivers high-quality dining options from a casual marketplace-style eatery. Guests can quickly order a meal via self-ordering and self-pay kiosks from a menu that features a variety of freshly-prepared food made with quality ingredients. Refresh & Co. gives travelers the opportunity to indulge in daily seasonal soups, hand-stretched pizzas, and grilled-to-order burgers. Refresh & Co. also features specialty retail goods such as healthy to-go packaged snacks and Indiana-themed items like ‘Hoosier’ t-shirts.

“We’re delighted to open the first newly built full size travel plaza and we are committed to providing travelers of the Indiana Toll Road with a great experience,” said Alyssa Staley, Director of Human Resources and Customer Service for the ITR Concession Co., LLC (Indiana Toll Road). “Our mission is to provide clean and modern facilities that everyone can use and enjoy.”

The Indiana Toll Road selected Sunoco to be the fuel provider along this important corridor to Chicago, and now Howe offers has six gasoline dispensers and four diesel dispensers as well as a new outpost of Sunoco’s APlus convenience store, which provides a variety of convenience items to drivers.

“Sunoco and APlus together strive to offer our guests the best customer experience with our family of brands,” said Helen Caravello Regional Director, Sunoco LP. “Indiana drivers, interstate truckers and cross-country tourists will find an offering of diesel from high-speed dispensers and Sunoco Ultratech, a high detergent fuel blend. We look forward to bringing premium service to our guests.”

The new Howe Travel Plaza is the latest segment of the Indiana Toll Road Travel Plaza Master Plan to be completed. HMSHost also operates restaurants at the George N. Craig and the Henry F. Shricker Travel Plazas in Indiana. The Rolling Prairie location will be the next Indiana Toll Road plaza redevelopment site to open. 

image of check presentation

Mike Perez, Resource/Development Director of Faith Mission, accepts a grant from the Howe Travel Plaza.

About HMSHost

Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe and 99 travel plazas in North America. The Company has annual sales in excess of $3.1 billion and employs more than 39,500 sales associates worldwide. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. With sales of over €4.5 billion in 2016, the Group operates in 31 countries and employs over 57,000 people. It manages approximately 4,000 stores in about 1,000 locations worldwide. Visit for more information and connect with HMSHost on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.   

About the ITR

In operation since 1956, the Indiana Toll Road stretches 157 miles across the northernmost part of Indiana from Ohio to the Illinois State line. The ITR links Chicago with the largest cities on the East Coast and acts as one of the most important freight and transportation routes in the country. The ITR is proud to serve thousands of patrons every day, providing a safe, efficient, and customer-focused driving experience for all on the Main Street of the Midwest.

About Sunoco LP

(NYSE: SUN) is a master limited partnership that operates 1,355 convenience stores and retail fuel sites and distributes motor fuel to 7,825 convenience stores, independent dealers, commercial customers and distributors located in 30 states. SUN's general partner is a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (NYSE: ETE).

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