Tuesday, July 10, 2018 | 2 a.m.
For motorists traveling between Las Vegas and Southern California, it’ll be tough to miss the vast collection of gas pumps to the west of Interstate 15 as they pass through Jean, about 30 miles south of Las Vegas.
Billed as the largest Chevron in the world, Terrible’s Road House travel center, located across I-15 from the Gold Strike hotel, boasts 96 gas pumps, 60 restroom stalls, and a 50,000-square-foot convenience store, which is set to feature Southern Nevada’s first drive-thru White Castle fast-food establishment when it debuts in the fall.
With 50,000 motorists traveling the stretch of highway daily, Mark Walters, vice president of sales and marketing for Terrible Herbst, sees the Road House becoming a tourist attraction in itself.
“With the number of people traveling the road, we want to make sure we have everything they need,” he said. “Anything they missed in town they can get going out of town, and anything they need in town they can get on their way into town.”
The center will employ 100 people once the facility is fully open, with about 20 workers on duty per shift, according to Terrible Herbst.
Everything about the Road House is big. There are 72 soda fountain heads (a typical convenience store features 12), the largest beer cave of any Terrible’s in the state, and a 30-foot coffee bar featuring Nitro cold brew, which is usually found only in specialty coffee shops.
The decor is also over the top, including three single-engine airplanes hanging from various portions of the store, a full-size NASCAR vehicle, a trophy off-road truck and a massive 13-foot-tall sasquatch statue that welcomes customers into the Jack Link’s Wild Side store.
“The initial reaction is, 'Wow,'” Walters said. “The first thing you see is an airplane hanging in the lobby, then another airplane when you walk through. The sasquatch has become the must-have photo opportunity.”
In the Jack Link’s store, the second one in the nation, fans of the beef jerky brand can buy assorted merchandise such as T-shirts and cozies with different Jack Link’s logos and slogans.
The first Red Bull lounge in the U.S. also calls the travel center home, offering fans of the energy drink the ability to purchase Red Bull merchandise in person, as it was previously only available online. The lounge features a work station where those on the go can plug in and carry out some work on their laptop computers and a cellphone charging locker, where customers can securely charge their phones while they browse the store.
A 4,000-square-foot candy store set open by the end of July will feature old-fashioned nostalgic candy in bulk such as Bottle Pops, Bazooka Bubble Gum, candy necklaces, Chick-O-Sticks, gum drops, licorice, Push Pops and more. Customers can also create their own custom assortment of Skittles via a limited-edition vending machine.
An Advance Auto Parts boutique, featuring over 500 items compatible with most car makes and models is also set to open by the end of the month.
Road House aims to offer hard-to-find snacks and items customers are unfamiliar with. “We’ll test a lot of things and see what people’s needs are,” Walters said.
Among the test products will be a yogurt station where robots serve frozen treats and a Coca-Cola freezing station, which can produce a frosty Coke product in 20 seconds.
For those who didn’t get the chance to nab a Las Vegas-affiliated sports team item while in town, there is an official merchandise section for the Vegas Golden Knights gear and the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders.
The travel center offers 15 slot and video poker machines, featuring the latest slot games. For the children, arcade rides are located in the candy shop. An augmented reality area will also entertain guests of all ages.
Despite opening last week, word of mouth is already spreading.
After friends told them about it, Sarah Waller, traveling last week with her family from Southern California to Las Vegas, said they had to check it out.
“My son is a huge sunflower-seed connoisseur, so he loved the selection. He got the bacon ranch flavor, which he said were the hardest ones to find,” Waller said. “We can’t wait for the White Castle to open.”
The Wallers were so impressed with Terrible’s Road House that they plan to make it a regular stop when they travel to and from Southern California.
“My son said this is the No. 1 reason to come to Vegas now,” she said.