Each week The H.E.A.R.D. considers local stories brought to our attention through unidentified news sources. As such, we can’t vouch for their veracity, but instead leave that assignment to you, the reader.
It worked for the New Jersey Turnpike, so why not here in Williamsburg?
This was the opening line from D. John Restarian, representative of “Pit Stop, LLC,” developers in the burgeoning industry of highway welcome centers, about a new full service rest stop on Virginia Route 199 in James City County. Their slogan is “turning interstates into pamperstates.”
“When you gotta go, you gotta stop,” continued Restarian. “So they might as well stop in James City County and leave a little something-something behind for your tax base.”
Pit Stop is proposing that the service area be located near the entrance to the Historic Colonial Parkway between the Kingsmill and Jamestown Road intersections. They also recommend hauling in approximately six hundred tons of fill so the facility can provide a view of the surrounding geography.
“Our studies have found that the words “scenic vista” make people more likely to stop,” he said. “Plus it’s easier to connect to the local sewer systems. Those restrooms do some business, if you know what I mean!”
Along with restrooms, the service area would include, to start, a Sbarro Pizza restaurant and a Cinnabon kiosk. A gift shop carrying miniature Williamsburg memorabilia is under consideration as well.
“Do you guys sell those little spoons?” he asked local officials gathered to hear the pitch.
Restarian suggested the facility be named the Willard Scott Service Area.
“The Jersey Turnpike has had great success naming their stops after New Jersey notables. Getting someone to stop in New Jersey is just short of a miracle, so we’re golden here in Virginia.”
Willard Scott, most famous as the weatherman on the Today show, is a native Virginian. He was also the very first Ronald McDonald.
“Wait until travelers see the giant weather screen in the center of the welcome foyer. Instead of providing the latest forecast, it will stay with Williamsburg’s historical theme and provide Great Dates in Weather History.”
Restarian noted that there was no place along I-64 for someone to “see a man about a horse, if you know what I mean.” Route 199, he argued, was the perfect spot.
Pit Stop, LLC also owns Jack-tar’s Seafood Barbeque and Road Soda Convenience Stores.