Oklahoma Needs A Buc-ee’s
The old saying goes, "Everything's bigger in Texas." We can argue the slim pickin's and merits of this saying, but when it comes to convenience stores, it's absolutely true.
Buc-ee's is a gas station chain all across Texas, with a few select locations across other southern states like Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Though, "gas station" might not be the right wording here. Sure, there are Buc-ee's "gas stations," but perhaps the right phrase to use might be "travel center." These stores are massive and sell a whole lot more than just fuel.
Side story fun fact... Right after high school, I spent a summer down at my uncles house in Lake Jackson, Texas where I got a job working at Buc-ee's #1... the original Buc-ee's. It was just a small corner gas station that oddly enough, at the time at least, sold t-shirts with the logo on it. In the last twenty years, it's grown to massive proportions.
They honestly own the world record for operating the largest convenience store in the world. It's in New Braunfel's and currently stands at 66,335 square feet of retail space. That's about half the size of your Quannah Parker Walmart. They also operate the longest car wash in the world, it's almost a football field long.
It was on a trip to Dallas that I finally got to step back into a nostalgic Buc-ee's store. It's located right across the street from the Texas Motor Speedway, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't blown away. There has to be sixty or seventy gas pumps in that parking lot. It reminded me more of an Atwood's as we walked in looking at grills, smokers, fire pits, furniture, etc... There's a legit instant fast food restaurant inside, all of the wares you'd expect from a gas station, plus an entire retail shop full of stuff. Clothing and accessories from not only their own Buc-ee's brand, but Columbia, Salt Life, and other premium type brands. Housewares and really unique Texas type decor... who is going to eat off a hair-on-hide leather place mat? Honestly. Who would eat off that?
There was a ton of art hanging around for sale too. A lot of it featured one type of farm animal hanging out on top of another type of farm animal. Truly unique in the presentation.
I know Oklahoma is just starting to get into the convenience store "destination" game with the Hutch's in Altus and the Casey's throughout Northern Oklahoma... so why hasn't Buc-ee's edged into this state already? The population density is right on track in OKC and Tulsa, and the highways running through them are some of the most traveled in the entire country. It was a wild experience seeing what that small little Buc-ee's has grown into over the years. If you get the chance to be near Dallas, you might google it. They're all over down there. I don't know if they all hold up to the Texas Motor Speedway location, but I'd imagine they're all similar to some extent.
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