Why Is Buc-ee’s Opening Stores Everywhere But Louisiana?
If you live in Louisiana you are familiar with the Texas super-convenience store and the world's biggest gas station, Buc-ee's. It's no secret that Louisiana residents have been wanting a Buc-ee's for a long time. So, why has this never come to pass, especially with the two states being neighbors? There was a deal on the table at one time but Buc-ee's execs said, "the stars did not align in Louisiana." Ever since then, many residents in the bayou state blame Louisiana politicians for allegedly screwing up the deal by refusing to get them a tax break and looking for kickbacks.
On March 8, 2016, Buc-ee's announced to the Greater Baton Rouge Report they had worked out a deal for the iconic super-store to break ground in Baton Rouge. This would have been its first location outside of Texas. It was set to open in Greens at Millerville development off Interstate 12. Baton Rouge and Louisiana residents were absolutely thrilled because that meant jobs and a ton of revenue for the area. Then out of nowhere, on October 4, 2016, Buc-ee's corporate office pulled the plug and informed Louisiana developers that they were backing out of the deal and terminating the land purchase agreement.
In November 2016 Jeff Nadalo, general counsel for Buc-ee’s Ltd, told The Advocate they needed a “critical mass” of stores to offset the costs of expanding and operating in a new market. Nadalo said, "To date, we have only been able to secure one site," in Louisiana. He added, "As a result, we have decided not to move forward in Baton Rouge." Just like that, Louisiana's dreams of having a Buc-ee's were over.
Several years after the ill-fated deal went left, is there ever going to be a chance for the bayou state to get a store? Nadalo says, “We’re not looking in Louisiana.” The Buc-ee's exec continued. “We’re focusing on other areas.” That ship has sailed as the mega gas station chain has moved on to open stores in other Gulf Coast states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Soon, even Mississippi will be able to brag that they have Buc-ee's.
Mississippi's first Buc-ee’s will be in Pass Christian, which by the way is roughly 64 miles away from New Orleans. A Buc-ee's spokesperson said of the project, “We are working diligently to bring Buc-ee’s award-winning restrooms, freshly prepared food, and cheap gas to Pass Christian, MS.” Adding “We hope to begin construction starting next year.”