Small parking lot
This Pilot used to be a well-managed store with folks who cared. It earned a score of 7.3 in its original TSG review but has seriously declined over the past few months. It's a small location & an OK place to stop, as truck stops go.
Originally reviewed April 6, 2015. UPDATED July 5, 2015
Interstate 29 heading north through Iowa & South Dakota is probably only famous for wind, lots of blowing snow in the winter and more wind. During the “fair” weather months, it’s actually a really pretty drive, though.
I’ve stopped quite a few times at the Pilot in Sioux City, Iowa, about an hour & a half north of Omaha. It’s a small truck stop with easy access from I-29, just east of exit 143.
Since I stop here a lot, I’ve noticed things aren’t being kept up like they used to be, prompting me to update this review.
Pilot claims to have 90 parking spaces for trucks here. They’re all straight-in backs and they do fill up quickly in the evenings. The lot is paved, fairly well lit & when I’ve been there, it’s been fairly clean, too.
This location has 8 big rig fuel islands with DEF. Even for a smaller location, I’ve only had to wait a couple minutes to get in to a pump here. There are usually paper towels and water/squeegees to clean your windows.
I was pleasantly surprised last year when I noticed the restrooms seem to have been recently renovated. They’ve been kept clean and stocked, too. No complaints from me.
UPDATE 7/5/2015: While I was pretty impressed by the cleanliness of things last time I was out here, sadly, cleanliness has gone waaaaay down hill since then – as you can see by the photo, below. The restrooms were filthy – from the sinks & floors to the stalls and paper towels were missing from 2 of the dispensers. See photo.
At this Pilot, you’ll find 7 of your typical smaller-Pilot-location-style showers. So, if you try to shower from 5-9pm, you’ll likely have to take a number & wait.
I’ve always had a clean shower room here, as well as plenty of hot water. The doors have locks (yeah, so many places don’t, nowadays), the towels were warm and smelled fresh. Ahhh.
UPDATE 7/5/2015: This time around, I could tell my shower room had been only partially cleaned.
- The toilet and floor were both dirty.
- The sink had whiskers in it.
- Soap scum (or some kind of scum) was all over the lower tiles of the shower walls.
- The shower and toilet both seemed like they really didn’t want to drain, which leaves a person standing in a half0inch of dirty water as they shower.
- Both the sink and shower faucets had problems.
Not cool. Photos are from the most recent visit.
Again, this is one of the remodeled stores and even for a small truck stop, they have ample supplies & goodies.
Pilot & Flying J are trying to step up their coffee game and if I remember accurately, there were 8 different coffees available in the drink area of the store.
There isn’t much of a hot deli due to the fact that Burger King and Subway are here. I’ve eaten at both with no ill effects.
UPDATE 7/5/2015: Burger King won’t use your Pilot/Flying J rewards points here, but if you show them your loyalty card, you’ll get 10% off your order!
There is a small laundry room with about 3 washers and 3 dryers. I didn’t find a lounge or game room. Again, there are 2 fast food restaurants, but that’s about it here.
Pilot’s WiFi does reach out to the far end of the truck parking lot, but it’s so unbelievably slow, I can’t imagine anyone paying or wasting their loyalty points on it.
Even on a dang busy day, the staff seems to be quite friendly and attentive. They actually seem to care…to the point I felt they appreciated my stopping by.
UPDATE 7/5/2015: The staff still seems plenty friendly but I see a lot fewer of them now. For example, while I’d previously seen 1-2 people cleaning and stocking, etc., I didn’t see anyone doing that this time. I saw 2 people behind the counter in the morning and one in the evening. Since I stayed overnight, I did notice someone in a pickup truck collecting garbage from the garbage cans around the parking lot.
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