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First Buc-ee’s Travel Center in Missouri to be built in Springfield

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 9:36 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2022 at 8:12 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A popular chain store is heading to the Ozarks.

You may have seen the Buc-ee’s travel centers if you’ve driven through parts of Texas, Alabama, Georgia, or Florida.

Monday night city council took the first steps towards getting the travel center built in Springfield.

“It will change the area. That’s a fact,” said Vivian McKinzie.

She lives just off Interstate 44 and Mulroy Road on the outskirts of Springfield.

It’s where the first Buc-ee’s travel center in Missouri is slated to be built.

“Well actually it’s going to go right where my house is sitting I’m told,” said McKinzie.

She and her husband built their home 53 years ago.

Soon she will be looking for a new home to make way for the retail project.

“Time changes and Springfield is changing,” she said.

“I think they did their research. They were looking to expand outside of Texas. They were just looking for a really well-traveled corridor so I-44 jumped out at them” said Sarah Kerner, Economic Development Director for Springfield.

She says the Buc-ee’s convenience store chain has proven to be profitable.

“Eighty-eight percent of Buc-ee’s customers come from 20 miles or further away. This is not stealing from your local convenience store. This is brand new revenue coming into the city because people are excited about this location,” said Kerner.

One of the challenges in building something so large practically in the middle of nowhere is infrastructure, specifically water.

We’re told city engineers will have to run water lines underneath I-44 in order to develop this area.

“Have patience with us. The development process does take a while. This is just one of the early approvals. It may take a while to get everything finalized and built,” said Kerner.

She says the company could attract other prime retailers to build storefronts in Springfield.

“We’re excited. This could be step one of a big development geared towards the traveling public,” said Kerner.

For McKenzie, it means starting over.

“It’s bittersweet. I hate to sell my home and leave but I’m glad something like that is going in. I think it will be good for the neighborhood and for Springfield,” she said.

The Buc-ee’s in Springfield will bring at least 150-new jobs to the area.

If all goes as planned the 53,000 square foot building with 100 gas pumps could open by June of 2023.

Here’s a list of locations across the country: https://buc-ees.com/locations/

There has been some confusion about Bucky’s Travel Center in St. Joseph, Mo. It is not tied to Buc-ee’s. It is owned by the Casey’s corporation. Link: https://www.newspressnow.com/news/local_news/buckys-convenience-stores-coming-to-st-joseph/article_5c8302a5-496d-5438-b1f4-145a90cbc979.html

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