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HomeTravelHeaded west? Buc-ee’s plans first Texas travel center in the Panhandle

Headed west? Buc-ee’s plans first Texas travel center in the Panhandle

We talk about Buc-ee’s as if its oversized gas stations and convenience stores are along every major highway in the Lone Star State. But that ain’t true: Buc-ee’s 34 travel centers in Texas are concentrated on the outskirts of Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, the Hill Country and the Gulf Coast, with some stops in between.
Buc-ee’s latest move in Texas takes it out west, to Amarillo, where construction will start Oct. 26, 2023. It’ll be the first Buc-ee’s in the Panhandle.
It can be hard to explain Buc-ee’s to out-of-towners, but a photo like this helps. Buc-ee’s is a giant convenience store and gas station whose mascot is a cartoon beaver. (Brentney Hamilton)
Roadtrippers will find it on East Interstate 40, the highway many North Texans drive west into parts of New Mexico or on the way to Colorado. You can see the allure: I-40 cuts through the Southwest, connecting parts of California east to Flagstaff, Ariz., Oklahoma City, Memphis, Nashville and more. The spot in Amarillo is also on historic Route 66, which once connected Los Angeles to Chicago.
Buc-ee’s has focused on expanding its large convenience stores outside Texas since it opened in Alabama in 2019. The Amarillo addition gives it one more notch in its Texas belt, but with reach far beyond.
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The Buc-ee’s in Amarillo is slated to have 108 gas pumps and 24 charging stations for EV vehicles. Of course, it’ll sell roadtrip snacks like Beaver Nuggets, beef jerky, barbecue, fudge and have a wall of fountain drink and coffee machines.
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Buc-ee’s, which was founded in Texas in 1982, has a reputation for having “the world’s cleanest bathrooms, freshest food and friendliest beaver,” says a Buc-ee’s press release. The Amarillo gas station will be 74,000 square feet, about five times the size of the average Trader Joe’s. No wonder an Alabama attorney called it the “Disney World of gas stations.”
The 74,000 square-foot Buc-ee’s coming to Amarillo will be much larger than this art installation in West Texas of the “World’s Tiniest Buc-ee’s.” (Visit Sanderson / Provided)
Notably, an artist placed a little — and fake — Buc-ee’s dubbed the “World’s Tiniest Buc-ee’s” in West Texas in 2022. It appeared again in 2023 and a Buc-ee’s attorney sent a crew to remove it.
It wasn’t the first Buc-ee’s spoof, either. A fake “coming soon” sign was positioned in a lot in Highland Park in late 2022, then swiftly taken down. A BUK-II’S store in Mexico went viral online a few months ago.
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Buc-ee’s has a reputation for protecting its brand.
It’s been four months since the tiny Buc-ee’s installation was removed in West Texas, more than 400 miles from Amarillo. Perhaps Buc-ee’s gets the last word here: They’re moving into the Texas desert. This time, the store is real. And big.
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Buc-ee’s is expected to start construction at 9900 East Interstate 40, Amarillo, at 1 p.m. Oct. 26, 2023. A spokeswoman didn’t respond when we asked when it’s expected to be finished.
For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on X (formerly Twitter) at @sblaskovich.

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