Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Bowlin Travel Centers (BWTL)
For over 90 years, the Bowlin family has taken pride in serving the traveling public with Southwestern tradition and hospitality. Their business venture actually began in 1912 when Claude M. Bowlin began trading with the Native American Indians of New Mexico and began learning their languages and customs. After World War I, from 1919 to 1935, Mr. and Mrs. Bowlin bought and sold several trading posts in the Gallup and Farmington areas of New Mexico. In 1935 they built the Old Crater Trading Post at Bluewater, New Mexico. It was named for the extinct volcano (or crater) to the north of the store. The wagon wheel-rutted road leading to the trading post later became Route 66. This store was closed in 1973 due to the construction of the new Interstate 40, which bypassed it. Bowlin's Bluewater Dairy Queen Travel Center now serves this area.I have to wonder how much capital investment is needed to keep these places competitive in the long run. Maybe it's not such a good business. The CEO is a Bowlin family member with 61% of the stock.
It's trading at about $1.80, which is a bit much unless the new stop is going to make that much of a difference. I have no idea. As of April 30, it's not doing squat, but maybe it will have a positive impact during the Summer.