An Idaho truck stop that has made a name for itself by serving the trucking community is fighting to keep the dining area open to serve truckers who are on the front lines in the fight against Coronavirus.
For most members of the trucking community, the Boise Stage Stop is best known for providing free Thanksgiving turkey dinners for truckers, but now the truck stop is asking Governor Brad Little for exemption from a Coronavirus declaration that would, among other things, force them to close their dine-in facilities.
On March 25, Little issued a statewide “stay home” order that effectively ordered the closure of dine-in restaurant areas throughout Idaho, allowing only for takeout, drive-thru, or delivery. Per the order, only “essential services” would be allowed to stay open amid the pandemic.
On March 26, the Boise Stage Stop President Robert L. French penned a letter to Little asking for an exemption from the order so that they could continue to serve the trucking community with dine-in restaurant service.
From the letter:
In interpreting your order, we first must define what business we are in. What we do is closest to a “gas station” which is defined as an essential business. We believe that as a truck stop, we are many times more essential than a single gas station since the country would quickly come to a standstill if our trucks were prevented from operating. This makes us exempt from the Governor’s order.
…in looking at the regulations and what functions are “essential”, we believe that the care of truck drivers, so that they can complete their very necessary function of bringing virtually everything that this society needs is equally important to the mission of hospitals. Therefore, we believe that our food operations are integral to our function of being supportive of our country’s transportation system, and as a “gas station” are totally, and completely exempt from the Governor’s order.
The Boise Stage Stop goes on to show how their social distancing measures and cleaning protocol minimize the danger of the spread of Coronavirus.
It isn’t clear at this time whether Little plans to respond to the exemption request.
You can read the letter in full below.