Everything's Bigger: 75,000 Square Foot Buc-ee's Opens in Texas

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Summer's coming, and American families across the fruited plain will, the admonitions of climate scolds aside, be climbing into the good old family benzene burners and heading down the highway on vacation adventures. While on those road trips, they will want to stop for fuel and snacks on occasion because of course, they will.

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If the trip takes our American families through Luling, Texas, they can stop at a real humdinger of a combined snack shop/gas station/truck stop: the new 75,000 square foot Buc-ee's, just off Interstate 10.

A newly opened Buc-ee’s is living up to the saying that everything’s bigger in Texas.

The new travel center, which officially opened for business on Monday, sprawls over 75,000 square feet in Luling and is equipped with 120 gas pumps.

Its size makes it the largest constructed by the popular travel center chain. Prior to the Luling location’s launch, that title belonged to a 74,000-square-foot Buc-ee’s in Tennessee.

That's a big store. In some jurisdictions, of course, one might worry about the inevitable thieves and shoplifters such a store might draw — but in Luling, Texas, we can assume that this won't be a big problem.


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I've never set foot in a Buc-ee's (although I would love to), but I do remember traveling through Eastern Iowa on Interstate 80, where one can find just west of Davenport "Iowa 80," which claims to be the world's largest truck stop. I've been there, and yeah, it's big. One could get lost in the store, not to mention the parking lot, where, on one occasion, I did spend about ten minutes walking around looking for my pickup. (It's funny how many red Ford Rangers are running around Eastern Iowa.)

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Stores like these are great. They are quintessentially American. We are all about our cars and trucks, our summer travel, and our drinks and snacks for that travel, which has given rise to this purely American establishment: The super-sized roadside travel store.

While we have no Buc-ee's in Alaska (I think they would do very well here), we do have our local chain, and it is for the Great Land what Buc-ee's is for Texas and the South: unique to its local market. Three Bears Alaska is not only a one-stop source for everything an Alaskan home might need, from laundry detergent to drill bits to traps and bear bait, but it is also giving life to the old saying that "Alcohol, tobacco, and firearms should be a convenience store, not a government agency." In the Three Bears stores, you can buy all you need, as mentioned above, along with some smokes, a bottle of hooch, and a new rifle, shotgun, or sidearm — all under one roof.

Now, that's what I call a convenience store.

There's something very American about these chains, but Buc-ee's and Three Bears, even if they are on opposite ends of the nation — geographically, although perhaps not culturally. We're Americans, after all. We go big or go home, and the size of our roadside stores is matched only by the size of our trucks, which makes those huge parking lots necessary. We like it that way. We'll keep it that way. And anyone who doesn't, well, there's the door.

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