BENTON, Ark. – Arkansas fans of Beaver Nuggets, brisket sandwiches and clean bathrooms may soon see their wishes come true as it appears Buc-ee’s may be heading to Saline County.
Recent business going before the Benton Advertising and Promotion Commission point to a Buc-ee’s Travel Center coming to the southwest edge of the city.
A proposed land purchase discussed at Wednesday’s commission meeting is fueling the speculation. A group had bid on a 29-acre track from the city at a cost of $77,586.21 an acre for an anticipated travel center.
Commissioners were told the travel center would employ 250 people with benefits including three weeks of vacation and a 401(k).
News of the commission meeting and discussion of the same was first reported by the news blog MySaline.com Thursday.
The total acreage purchase before real estate fees would be $2.25 million, commissioners were told.
The group requesting the acreage is CSMS of Pearland, Texas. Pearland is in south Houston, where Buc-ee’s HR office is located, and is an hour’s drive north from Buc-ee’s Lake Jackson, Texas corporate headquarters.
The A&P Commission confirmed that CSMS had acknowledged the city’s requirement that construction start within one year and project completion within three years. Anticipated tax revenue for the city has been projected at $1.25 million per year with an additional $275,000 in property tax revenue.
The commission was told that 5 million travel center visitors, 60% from out of state, are projected per year for the location.
Benton Director of Marketing and Special Events Matt Thibault said Friday morning the city had accepted a bid from the company that owns Buc-ee’s, but that he could not officially state the travel center is coming to the city “until all of the official paperwork has been signed.”
Buc-ee’s is known for building large gas-station convenience store facilities. In June the company opened what is regarded as the world’s largest gas station, a 74,000-square-foot facility in Sevierville, Tennessee.
The chain, started in 1982, has been in an expansion mode in recent years after spending decades located only in the Lone Star State. Currently, the company has locations in Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee. There are also locations being developed in Louisiana.
KARK 4 News has reached out to Buc-ee’s for confirmation of the company’s Benton plans but had not yet received a reply.