Feb 9, 2022 - News

Texas-based Buc-ee's gas station to open its first Colorado location

A Buc-ee's convenience store. Photo: Clayton Park/News-Journal via USA Today Network

There are gas stations, and then there is Buc-ee's β€” and Coloradans will soon learn the difference.

Driving the news: The Texas-sized, cult-favorite convenience store, based in Lake Jackson and Pearland, Texas, plans to open its first Colorado location on a 140-acre parcel just off of Interstate 25 in Johnstown, in between Fort Collins and Greeley.

  • The move is part of the empire's expansion into other states including Kentucky, South Carolina and Mississippi, in addition to the chain's 40-some stores across Texas, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

Why it matters: Buc-ee's bucks the standards of nearly every other gas station, from award-winning bathrooms and gas pumps galore to smoked barbecue bars, beef jerky walls, homemade fudge, sprawling snack aisles and β€” of course, branded swag with the store's beloved mascot, a smiling bucktoothed beaver.

  • As if that weren't enough, the chain also holds two world records for largest gas station and longest car wash. No, seriously.

Details: Colorado's colossal store, slated for completion in 2024, will be 74,000 square feet and have at least 120 filling stations, but no car wash, Buc-ee's general counsel Jeff Nadalo tells Axios.

  • The company has "committed" to maintaining at least 175 mostly full-time jobs on a regular basis and paying a starting salary of at least $15, he says.

What they're saying: "This is a location that a lot of people are traveling through and is well-situated ... and we think people will appreciate the ability to have a place to stop and get cheap gas and great food and load up with supplies for their adventure," Nadalo says.

  • The Colorado stop-off is also expected to generate "substantial" tax revenue for the town, as other locations have, though Nadalo says he's unsure of just how much.

Johnstown officials approved the Buc-ee's planning document and are working through the development process with the company now, town spokesperson Jamie Barker tells Axios.

  • "This opportunity is exciting for the town and we look forward to continuing to work with the applicants," she says.

The big picture: Souped-up gas stations could turn Johnstown from a pit stop into a destination.

  • Johnson's Corner, one exit north of the new Buc-ee's location, is a truck stop, restaurant and travel plaza all in one. It also sells "world-famous" cinnamon rolls.
  • Nadalo says Buc-ee's leaders "love the competition" and "think it helps improve everybody."

The bottom line: This may be the best possible news for I-25 road-trippers whose gas tanks are low, bladders are full and stomachs are empty.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard. Subscribe here.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Buc-ee's is headquartered in Lake Jackson and Pearland, Texas.


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