Feb 01, 2023

Russell groups trying to land new Buc-ee's convenience store

Posted Feb 01, 2023 2:13 PM
The Richmond, Ky., Buc-ee's location, the only one in that state, features 120 gas pumps.
The Richmond, Ky., Buc-ee's location, the only one in that state, features 120 gas pumps.

Great Bend Post

Just 262 miles to go, you can hold it. So says one of the many signs promoting the up-and-coming super chain of Buc-ee's convenience stores popular in the southern United States. But not if Russell Economic Development and CVB and Russell Development Inc. can do anything about it. Eco Devo Director Mike Parsons said there is a push to bring the chain to the I-70 corridor in Kansas.

"Late last year, they actually had a CBS Sunday Morning segment that highlighted Buc-ee's," he said. "They announced they're looking to expand and maybe move further north."

The chain is well-established throughout Texas, and has since expanded with single stops in Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee, two in Georgia and Florida, and three in Alabama. The Richmond, Ky., location opened in April 2022, and features 120 gas pumps on the 53,000 square-foot property. The store in New Braunfels, Texas is a world-record 66,335 square-feet.

Inside a Buc-ee's can be even more surreal with wall-to-wall patrons searching for basic travel goods, all varieties of hot and bagged snacks, Buc-ee Beaver memorabilia, or the bathrooms known for their privacy and cleanliness. Buc-ee's also boasts an average starting wage around $14 an hour.

"The best way it's been described to me that kind of hits home with everybody is it's like the Cabellas of convenience stores," Parsons said.

Parsons said there have been some concerns about a chain of Buc-ee's size moving to the region, but noted the chain does not allow semi-trucks. Another 24/7 gas station on the I-70 Russell exit will soon be expanding as a truck stop.

"We figure we this is the best of both worlds," he said. "We've got the truck stop and the family stop. Right now the big goal is to keep Russell, Kansas, or Russell County fresh in their mind when they start looking this way."

No formal plans with Buc-ee's are in the works. Right now, the groups are trying to show there is an interest in the chain locally. They are asking the public to submit a form to Buc-ee's, expressing something as simple as, "We want a Buc-ee's in Russell, Kansas." Buc-ee's will reply with a confirmation email that requires clicking on a link in the email. Then send an email to [email protected] letting them know of the submission. CLICK HERE for the recruitment flyer and instructions.