Buc-ee’s coming to the High Plains?

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On Feb. 8, 2022, the Amarillo City Council, with unanimous support from all members, approved an economic development agreement to bring the Buc-ee’s convenience store chain to eastern Amarillo.

The city of Amarillo recently voted on approving a 53,000-square-foot travel center on around 20 acres in the open spaces of undeveloped land near the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport and the Amarillo Travel Information Center, situated along Interstate 40.

“The bathrooms are top,” said Hayley Hurst, senior musical theatre major from Melissa, Texas. “That’s kind of everybody’s top thing.”

For those unfamiliar with the Texas cultural icon, Buc-ee’s is a chain of convenience stores and gas stations that has the title of “World’s Largest Convenience Store” and “World’s Longest Car Wash.” Their biggest perk for customers is clean bathrooms. Buc-ee’s has won multiple awards for their clean bathrooms. Every visit to the store is a trip.

“I’m a material girl,” Hurst said. “The thought of walking into a gas station and it’s literally, ‘Oh, no.’ You can buy a bunch of clothes and fishing stuff. You’re always prepared.”

Buc-ee’s sells food, such as Beaver Nuggets, jerky, fudge and hundreds of other foods; has a wall of fountain drinks, coffees, commercial display refrigerators stocked with drinks and alcohol; souvenirs, such as socks, shirts, hats; pieces of furniture and many other items rarely found at a convenience store. You can find almost anything in Buc-ee’s with little effort. Employees welcome you at the door, saying, “Welcome to Buc-ee’s!”

“I always considered it like the ultimate pitstop,” said Zachary Unger, senior political science major from Waco, Texas. “It’s the go-to if you’re traveling through Texas. You have to go about them, like [it’s] law.”

Zachary Unger throws up a peace sign with Buc-ee the Beaver at the second-closest Buc-ee’s location, Store #37 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo/Zachary Unger)

The convenience store chain has recently been expanding its presence in the state of Texas and the South. Moving west has been a recent expansion on behalf of the company with the Johnstown, Colorado store joining the planned locations at the same time as Amarillo’s location. It’s about time that Buc-ee’s goes west of the Interstate 35 corridor.

“The closest Buc-ee’s is Denton,” Hurst said. “[My friends and I] just drove like five-and-a-half hours to Buc-ee’s. We got there at 8 a.m. and were like, ‘Sick,’ then just drove all the way back.”

Students at West Texas A&M University come from all over the state of Texas and bring their stylish souvenirs with them to wear on campus. Buc-ee the Beaver and Bucky the Buffalo have respective attributes. The love for both mascots runs deep within the student base at WT.

“Toot’n Totum/Pak-A-Sak better watch out,” Unger said. “Buc-ee’s is coming through.”

There is no expected completion date for the store, but the average construction time takes around two years. Amarillo’s location will be close to their 50th location. Be on the lookout for the red and yellow signs promoting the company’s expansion popping up around Amarillo.

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