Buc-ee's: Temple's New Tourist Attraction
Question: When is a convenience store considered a destination for motorists?
Answer: When it's a Buc-ee's, of course.
The Buc-ee's chain of larger-than-life mega-convenience stores in Texas has garnered what approaches a cult following. Buc-ee's offers 60,000 square feet of space filled with thousands of food, clothing and specialty items (Beaver Nuggets anyone?), enormous and spotless restrooms, and a ‘customer is king' philosophy that's evident among its friendly employees.
|The new Buc-ee's opened in April bringing with it 150 local jobs and expanded business development interest from local entrepreneurs.|
The newest Buc-ee's opened at I-35 and Northwest Loop 363 in Temple in April, which is the chain's northernmost location — for now. Officials with the company say Temple seemed like an ideal spot, situated halfway between Dallas and San Antonio, with Austin close by.
Among the store's biggest fans is Charley Ayres of the Temple Economic Development Corporation. "Buc-ee's has hired 150 people, and as a result of it being here near our industrial park, numerous other businesses have expressed interest in developing here," he says. "Besides that, they have been a great community partner. Buc-ee's is the epitome of integrity and honesty."
|The latest Central Texas tourist attraction is located at I-35 and Northwest Loop 363 in Temple.|
Apparently, it's common for Buc-ee's stores to attract other businesses."We often see a surge in development around our locations," Jeff Nadalo, general counsel for Buc-ee's, says. "As for new locations, a Buc-ee's opens next month in Terrell, and two other DFW locations will have stores soon."
All of the Buc-ee's travel center locations generate a lot of traffic, which often requires coordinated planning between the store and TxDOT, which is busy in the same area with a major construction project: widening and reconstructing the I-35 mainlanes. In the case of the Temple location, several change orders were implemented.
"We installed temporary signals to help with the extra frontage road traffic and a temporary driveway was installed until the northbound frontage and new driveways can be installed," I-35 Lead Mobility Coordinator John Habermann says. "We also needed to enhance the exit ramp closest to Buc-ee's location off northbound I-35 to accommodate the expected increase in traffic."
Due to Buc-ee's closeness to the I-35 construction, the route to get to it may vary from time to time. Drivers should be prepared for access to look a little different during future stages of the construction. If your destination is Buc-ee's from northbound I-35, you will need to take exit #304. Be aware that the frontage road will merge into one lane after the exit. Turn right at the driveway after the merge to access Buc'ees. If you miss the driveway, you can turn right (east) onto Loop 363 and access Buc'ees from the loop. Southbound travelers will also use exit #304. Turn left (east) on Loop 363, and after going over I-35 and through the stop sign at the frontage road, you can enter Buc'ees off the loop.
"I consider Buc-ee's and TxDOT very strong partners," Nadalo says. "Together we try to develop solutions to accommodate the motoring public, and we are pleased to work with them to create safe and effective solutions."