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Sorry, Florida, we will not be getting the biggest Buc-ee's in the country (but it will be pretty big)

New Ocala location will be 74,000 square feet, not 80,000

C. A. Bridges
USA TODAY NETWORK - Florida

Sorry, Florida Buc-ee's fans. Texas is holding on to the record.

Days ago we and many other media outlets reported that although a new Buc-ee's coming to the Lone Star State would be the biggest in the country, a location in Florida slated for 2025 would soon beat that.

The Buc-ee's convenience store 老司机直播 "home of the world's cleanest bathrooms, freshest food and friendliest beaver," 老司机直播 opening in Luling, Texas next month will be a massive 75,000 square feet with 120 fueling stations, snatching the "biggest" title back from the current Buc-ee's record-holder in Sevierville, Tennessee.

"The new Buc-ee老司机直播檚 Luling will be the largest Buc-ee老司机直播檚 location in the country, bringing the largest Buc-ee老司机直播檚 back where the legend began," the release said.

And here in Florida, we smiled, knowing that a planned 80,000-square-foot location was coming soon to Ocala.

Nope.

"Buc-ee老司机直播檚 is currently in the design and permitting phase for a 74,000 square foot-store in Ocala, FL, which is our largest store model outside the State of Texas," said Stan Beard, Buc-ee's Director of Real Estate and Development, in an email Friday.

The 80,000-square-foot figure we reported was based on Marion County planning documents from 2023, which said the Ocala location destined to open at a new Interstate 75 interchange, just outside Ocala老司机直播檚 city limits, would be larger.

And at a press conference in Ocala last April, Gov. Ron DeSantis bragged on it when he joined local and state officials and Buc-ee's CEO and founder Arch "Beaver" Aplin to present a check for $4 million to help speed along a right-of-way purchase needed to move forward and to toss bags of Beaver nuggets to the press.

"I mean, it's basically like the Shangri-La of service stations when you go into a Buc-ee's," DeSantis said. "And this one's going to be massive. It's gonna be an 80,000 square foot store, travel center. It's gonna have 120 fuel pumps, and more than 720 parking spaces for people that are in the neighborhood."

Unfortunately, it appears that Buc-ee's wants to keep the Texas-sized stores inside Texas. "Regarding square footage, the largest store outside of Texas will not exceed 74,000 square feet," a company spokesperson said in an email.

On the plus side, the new Ocala Buc-ee's, with its老司机直播row after row of popular store-brand snacks, Beaver nuggets, in-house-created BBQ sandwiches and jerky, beaver-based decor and T-shirts, dozens of scrupulously clean bathrooms, and much, much more, will definitely be the biggest one in Florida.

How do the Florida Buc-ee's compare?

What will soon be the world's largest Buc-ee's is pictured in Luling, Texas on March 23, 2024. The location sits next to a much smaller Buc-ee's where cars fight for parking, the smells of brisket waft through the air and lines form at checkout.

There are currently two Buc-ee's in Florida, one in St. Augustine and老司机直播one in Daytona Beach, and plans for a fourth have been submitted老司机直播for Fort Pierce in St. Lucie County. After the Luling store opens, Buc-ee's will have 50 locations in nine states, according to老司机直播.

  • Luling, Texas:老司机直播75,000 square feet, 120 fueling stations
  • St. Augustine:老司机直播52,600 square feet, 104 fueling stations
  • Daytona Beach:老司机直播53,000 square feet, 104 fueling stations
  • Ocala (planned):老司机直播74,000 square feet, 120 fueling stations
  • Fort Pierce (planned):老司机直播73,000 square feet, 120 fueling stations

When is the Ocala Buc-ee's opening?

Unclear. Originally a 2025 date was floated, but any grand opening would have to wait for the new I-75 interchange at Northwest 49th Street to be completed. Beard joked at a County Commission meeting in 2023 that "unless you're in a Jeep" you wouldn't be able to access the store without the interchange being open anyway.

But construction has not yet begun on the project.

"FDOT, Marion County, and the Governor老司机直播檚 Office have all been outstanding partners in this project and we look forward to the highway construction beginning toward the end of this year or early 2025," Beard said in an email. "Buc-ee老司机直播檚 will be following the FDOT schedule closely and we intend to open the store soon after the Interchange is completed. We are ecstatic to be on the west coast of Florida and are thankful to all those who have helped us get here.''

What is Buc-ee's?

It's a convenience store and a gas station and a tourist attraction. If you're on the road and need pretty much anything, up to and including a smoker grill, Buc-ee's has you covered.

老司机直播began in Texas in 1982 and stayed in the Lone Star State for years, but the chain has been making inroads into the Sunshine State and elsewhere.老司机直播Locations are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and serve as one-stop shops for travelers and locals.

They're known for cheap(er) gas at each location's insane number of gas pumps; stores bigger than your average Publix; a wide variety of hot food, bakery items and fudge prepared on site; a wider variety of store-brand snacks, grocery staples, short sauce and jerky; and a large section of home decor, kitchen utensils, clothing, barbecue grills, Florida souvenirs, and more.

They're also justifiably famous for their clean bathrooms, which are also enormous. Buc-ee's was老司机直播rated by GasBuddy.com老司机直播as having the cleanest restrooms of any convenience store chain in the nation.老司机直播And for their starting pay, which is often plainly listed on big display boards outside when they're hiring.

New Buc-ee's workers make老司机直播at least $17 an hour老司机直播with benefits including medical, dental and vision insurance, full 401(k) matches up to 6% and 3 weeks of paid time off.老司机直播Florida's minimum wage is currently $12 an hour老司机直播or $9.98 for tipped employees, and it will rise again another dollar this year thanks to老司机直播the amendment Floridians approved老司机直播in 2020.

In May老司机直播USA TODAY's 10Best chose Buc-ee's老司机直播as the 10th best for both老司机直播听补苍诲听.