NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Buc-ee’s, the Texas-based chain known for its massive convenience stores, is planning to open its first Virginia location in New Kent County.
The 74,000-square-foot store with 120 fueling stations and 557 parking spaces is planned for the exit 211 interchange just off I-64.
New Kent County’s economic development department announced on Monday via Facebook that the company has submitted a conditional use permit to the county’s Planning and Zoning Department, and it’s being reviewed. A projected opening date hasn’t been shared at this time.
That Facebook post was quickly shared by more 2,000 people thrilled to visit the future New Kent store. But if you’re out of the loop you might be asking: why are people so excited for a gas station?
Well in the words of comedian and Buc-ee’s superfan Katheleen Madigan, Buc-ee’s is “not just a gas station, it’s a lifestyle.”
The chain has developed an ultra-loyal following since first opening in 1982, with some fans planning their trips around the stores. There’s barbeque cooked in-house, a giant beef jerky counter and lots of merch featuring the chain’s mascot, Bucky the beaver.
Buc-ee’s also boasts the “cleanest restrooms in America” and competitive pay and benefits for workers. The New Kent store will have an average minimum wage of $16-18 per hour with benefits for full-time workers, New Kent says.
The New Kent store is set to employ 175 people and will be just smaller than the largest Buc-ee’s, which opened last year in Luling, Texas. The closest location to Hampton Roads is currently off I-95 near Florence, South Carolina.
Some people though were worried about the traffic impacts. New Kent says it’s working with VDOT on transportation improvements required for the project, including coordinating with ongoing I-64 widening project efforts.