Supercharger Story: Lusk, Wyoming

On our road trip, one of our stops was the small town of Lusk, Wyoming. Population 1,557. Although nearly every single charging location we have traveled to so far has provided its own charm, the community of Lusk was one to highlight.

If you’re following along on our blog, you understand that the charging infrastructure is limited in the middle of the United States. Although a cross-country trip is possible, it requires a little planning upfront.

When we first plotted out trip, we saw our route and wondered, “how exactly are we going to occupy ourselves for 90 minutes in the small town of Lusk, Wyoming?”

According to an article on Tesla Superchargers, “Lusk, Wyoming is in the the least populated county in the least populated state.” So why a supercharger?

According to the article written in 2014, Tesla first visited with the hotel as a part of an initiative to plan a coast-to-coast travel route of quick charging stations. The four Supercharging locations were installed at the America’s Best Value Inn – Covered Wagon in Lusk in December 2013.

Why Lusk? According to Nicosia (pronounced Ne-kosh-ah), the friendly front desk person at the motel where the Supercharging stations are located, Lusk is centrally located along the busy travel route between two major cities – Cheyenne, Wyo. and Rapid City, S.D.

Mark and Susan Kupke, who own the America’s Best Value Inn – Covered Wagon, had some influence in bringing the Tesla chargers to their parking lot. Mark actually serves on the tourism board and wanted to make this happen, Nicosia said,

Tesla just upgraded the Superchargers this year actually, adding lights to the stations, she continued.

Although the motel doesn’t see a lot of overnight stays from electric vehicle drivers passing through, the staff gets to meet many of the drivers who stop to charge and spend both time and money in the small community.

Nicosia recalls one such visit with a woman she met recently.

“Last year I had a conversation with a woman who drove a 1991 Nissan Pathfinder. She told me that the next time she comes to stay overnight in Lusk, she would be driving a Tesla,” Nicosia explained.

Nicosia said that the woman explained to her how she wanted to purchase an electric vehicle in order to become more environmentally conscious and was already saving for a large down-payment on a new electric vehicle.

“I thought to myself, I really hope this woman gets her car someday,” Nicosia explained, admitting that she was a little skeptical it would happen any time soon.

However, just last week, about one year after their initial meeting, the woman pulled up into the parking lot to charge her new Tesla.

“I don’t think she recognized me the second time she stopped in, but I recognized her,” Nicosia said. “I was so happy for her!”

For the most part, usually everyone can get in to charge when they need to, Nicosia said. Sometimes though, there is a line of vehicles waiting to charge.

“During the eclipse, there were cars in line all day,” she said. “For 8 hours there was a line – one car would leave as another would pull into town.”

Other events throughout the year, like the Sturgis and the annual Tesla convention, bring several electric vehicles through Lusk at the same time.

The America’s Best Value Inn – Covered Wagon receives high praise across the electric vehicle owner review boards and blogs. We can certainly attest to their comments that staff members are welcoming, friendly and accomodating to EV drivers who pass through.

We found that the entire community of Lusk was extremely welcoming. Both the newspaper and the Chamber of Commerce reached out to us prior to our arrival to ask us if we had any questions about their community or needed anything while we were there.

We look forward to passing through Lusk again on our way home to Minnesota later this week.

 

Tesla’s Supercharger location at the Covered Wagon Motel in Lusk.
(AP Photo/Mead Gruver)

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