Drive-In Theaters May Be the Next Stop for Truckers

A Texas-based investment firm wants to repurpose the abandoned lots for truck parking.

July 14, 2023

There’s a shortage of truck parking in America, but Frank Sonzala, chief corporate development officer, ConTrade Holdings, has an idea that he thinks could be a game-changer.

Sonzala wants to repurpose old drive-in theaters and similar locations as truck parking. His plan would offer security and convenience with amenities like restaurants and showers. The project is currently in the fundraising stage.

Reports indicate that there is only one parking spot for every 11 trucks on the road, which leaves drivers spending close to an hour of essential drive time trying to locate a safe place to park. Sonzala estimates that there needs to be an additional three million spaces to accommodate the industry.

According to Transport Topics, “Sonzala says his company wants to establish a coast-to-coast network of parking locations, with a fixed top price of $26 per day near major cargo hubs, and he says the old drive-in movie locations are a starting point.

‘Our goal is to build 100 of these facilities with 450 stops to start in areas where the congestion is the worst and there is the least amount of truck parking,’ he said. ‘We are already searching out the locations we can buy. We are going to do this in a rapid format.’”

Sonzala goes on to cite that what makes drive-in locations optimal for dedicated truck parking is their size (14-15 acres), access to water and electricity and proper zoning.

“When we build 100 of these, with 450 spots per facility, we will have only solved about 20% of the problem.”

In general, Americans support more parking for truckers—just not nearby.