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Here's How Much Businesses Pay To Get On Those Big Blue Exit Signs

Anyone who uses the U.S. interstate highway system knows to look for the blue signs that indicate what amenities are available at the next exit. You don't want to waste time if there's no gas station there, or you may want to skip to the next exit to find your favorite restaurant chain. But gas stations, restaurants, hotels, and campgrounds aren't automatically included just because they are there, they have to pay have their logo on the signs. Not only that, but states have their standards. For example, businesses often have to be open a certain number of hours a day, or fall within a stated distance of the exit.  

Other states are even stricter; Colorado specifies that restaurants must offer drinking water and be open continuously between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., and Kentucky limits restaurant and gas businesses to within three miles of a rural interchange or within only one mile of an urban interchange.

But even if your business meets all the requirements, and you’ve submitted your online application, there may be competition from other nearby businesses. As for which of those businesses get to be on the signs, that depends on the state’s policy. Colorado rotates the businesses at the end of each contract year, but other states like Michigan give preference to businesses nearer the highway, while still others like Washington use a first come-first serve (with waiting list) approach.

The signs fall into several categories, a specified locations, and the price varies. Read how interstate amenity advertising works at Jalopnik.

(Image credit: Washuotaku)


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