Two rest stops on the Maine Turnpike closed earlier this week so the Starbucks outlets there can be remodeled into Burger Kings. They will be closed for about nine weeks.
Officials with the Maine Turnpike Authority say the switch is being made because travelers – including and especially truck drivers — visiting the rest stops at Mile 58 southbound in Cumberland and Mile 59 northbound in Gray are more interested in a “Double Whopper than double espresso” as the pressherald.com put it.
It seems four turnpike rest areas were converted from Burger Kings to Starbucks in 2007. The two in Kennebunk and West Gardiner thrived, while the two in Cumberland and Gray have seen sales dip.
The reason is travelers stopping at the Kennebunk and West Gardiner traffic are mostly tourists. Those stopping in Cumberland and Gray are commuters and commercial truck drivers, many of whom are headed to a Walmart distribution center in Lewiston.
According to the Turnpike Authority, during the renovations all services including gas pumps and sanitary facilities will be closed. Motorists will need to seek alternate locations.