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Barstow Station a hub for international, holiday travelers
BARSTOW • Tourist buses, Greyhound buses and cars stream in and out of the parking lot at the Barstow Station on E. Main Street every day, with travelers from as far as Hong Kong and Sweden or as close as San Francisco and Los Angeles.
These tourists are typically headed down Interstate 15 in one of two directions: Las Vegas or Los Angeles. Some are traveling in the United States for their first time, with traffic picking up as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.
Shop manager Eyad Museitef said his business is heavily reliant on these travelers.
“We don’t make any money off of local residents,” Museitef said. “Less than 1 percent of our business comes from locals.”
Museitef said his liquor store in the Barstow Station is dependent on California residents but mostly those from the Inland Empire, Los Angeles or San Diego.
The Station is a popular hub for Las Vegas and L.A. travelers because it offers several shops, fast food options and is home to the historic train car McDonalds. The station is also open 365 days a years and houses the only Barstow Greyhound Station.
Jessica Wang, a traveler from Cerritos, said she’s stopped at the station for the past 30 years on her way to Las Vegas.
“My kids love it,” Wang said. “It’s my favorite place to stop and we have many good memories here.”
Emma Simmons and her friend, Matilda Nobel from Uddevalla, Sweden, said they were passing through the Barstow Station for their first time while traveling on a Greyhound Bus on their way to Las Vegas.
“I think it looks like a classic California town in the desert,” Simmons said, speaking of her first impression of Barstow.
San Francisco resident Wilfrido Luna said he and his family were on vacation before the holiday and headed home to the Bay area.
“We stopped to get some food and some rest,” he said.
Approximately 20,000 tour buses a year go in and out of the Station and the establishment has been in business since 1975.
One Barstow Station manager, Yvonne Craine, said she’s met customers from all over the world, the most popular destinations being Asia, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Germany.
“We’re expecting it’s going to be busy from Wednesday until Sunday,” she said.