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Buc-ee's Opens in Missouri, But Faces Roadblock in North Carolina

A city planning board recommended against a necessary rezoning permit.
Angela Hanson
Buc-ee's fuel canopy

LAKE JACKSON, Texas — Buc-ee's opened the doors to its first Missouri location on Dec. 11. Located off of I-44 at 3284 North Mulroy Road in Springfield, the 53,00-square-foot store offers thousands of snack, meal and drink options, plus 120 fueling positions.

A large crowd was gathered when the newest Buc-ee's opened at 6 a.m., according to a KCUR report. Company owner Arch "Beaver" Aplin III joined Springfield and Greene County officials for a ribbon-cutting event.

"You know, when you really know what Buc-ee's is about and realize how popular it is, it's almost a cult following," Springfield City Manager Jason Gage told the news outlet. "To have Buc-ee's here in Springfield is just — it's a big deal for us."

[Read more: Buc-ee's to be Home to Mercedes-Benz EV Charging Hubs]

The Springfield Buc-ee's brings 200 new, permanent, full-time jobs to the area with wages ranging from $18 to $33 per hour depending on the role. Employees also have full benefits, a 6% matching 401k and three weeks of paid vacation.

Local officials expect Buc-ee's to have a positive economic impact. Springfield Councilman Brandon Jenson also praised the retailer for its "demonstrated history of taking care of its communities both with the wages that the company pays its workers, but also the ways that it gets involved with its community and giving back.

"I think it's an example of a major employer coming to a community and investing in a way that shows they're here to stay," Jenson added.

As Buc-ee's celebrates its first store in one new market, its entrance into another faces challenges. The Mebane, N.C., planning board voted 3-6 to recommend denying the rezoning of a 32-acre parcel in the city to accommodate the construction of what would be the first Buc-ee's in North Carolina.

The intended site would feature a 75,000-square-foot store, 600 parking spots and 120 fueling positions.

A well-attended community meeting extended for more than four hours prior to the vote as around 100 local residents expressed mixed feelings regarding the potential store, reported WRAL News.

"When we're talking about the amount of people coming through everyday, those are commuters. They are local residents going back and forth between Guilford and Wake County. You do need to look at impact it's going to have on local residents," said attendee Beth Bronson, a resident of Orange County, N.C., where Buc-ee's explored a store opening in 2021 before local pushback led to the project's cancellation.

Other residents pointed to the addition of jobs as a reason they were in favor of the store.

[Read more: Buc-ee's Plans First Ohio Location]

Amanda Hodierne, attorney for Buc-ee's, stated that it is "no secret" that Buc-ee's wants to operate in the Mebane region.

"It feels like a good fit. It feels like Mebane has the energy and the certain something that Buc-ee's likes to be part of," Hodierne said during the meeting. "It's something that is exciting for them to be part of a community that's thriving and growing and such a successful bridge between the Triad and the Triangle.

To move forward with a Mebane Buc-ee's, the city planning board must approve a rezoning request and a special use permit.

Lake Jackson-based Buc-ee's has more than 40 locations. The retailer kicked off its multistate expansion plan in 2019.

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