Where Should Buc-ee’s Gas Station Build Its First Michigan Location?
Buc-ee's is one of the most famous chains of country stores and gas stations in America. Where should they build the first location in Michigan?
What is Buc-ee's?
In case you don't travel much out of Michigan, especially in the south, there is a country store/gas station brand that is based in Texas called Buc-ee's. The chain has stores all over Texas and most southern states and has even moved into Kentucky, Ohio, and Wisconsin but there is not one location in the state of Michigan.
Buc-ee's are best known for the sheer size of the locations. Some have as many as 100 pumps at their gas stations, and the cleanest bathrooms (even have bathroom attendants), but there is so much more.
Buc-ee's has the largest selection of beef jerky and candy, plus brisket, baked goods, tacos, fresh sandwiches, souvenirs, and even a mascot. If you have been to one, they are hard to explain other than they are the best darn gas station and country store on the planet.
Where Should Buc-ee's Build a Location in Michigan?
Buc-ee's recently announced the opening of 10 new locations around the U.S. but has yet to build a location in Michigan. You have to keep in mind, Buc-ee's doesn't build their stores near major markets which allows them to be the major attraction in the region they choose. There are probably not enough people for this to work in the Upper Peninsula so let's stick with the Lower Peninsula with possible locations.
Saginaw/Bay City Region
The area of Saginaw and Bay City comes to mind because I-75 goes right through both of them. This puts a potential Buc-ee's location because Frankenmuth is in the area which is already a legendary tourist location so travelers are already being funneled there. M-46 goes through Sagainw and M-10 goes through Bay City to Midland and to Mt. Pleasant where there's a casino. There is lots of farmland off of I-75 that could be purchased on the right exit.
Grand Rapids Region
Grand Rapids has a lot of freeway exchanges on the outside of its city limits that would be a perfect area for a Buc-ee's. One, there is enough local population to facilitate the location but it is highly traveled for business via car, truck, semi, etc. The area between Byron Center and Wayland could be a great location just south of M-6. The area of 196 between Hudsonville and Zeeland could be another solid location. 96 between Marne and Cooperville is screaming for a Buc-ee's. North of Rockford between Cedar Springs on 131 would work. Let's not forget 96 out by Cascade which leads you to Lansing and Flint.
Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Region
There are lots of areas near Kalamazoo and Battle Creek where there are major freeway crossings like 131 and 94, and I-69 and 94. There is a solid population traveling those freeways that could facilitate a Buc-ee's plus all the business travel in these areas outside of each city plus plenty of rural land to build on near any of these exits could work.
The Ann Arbor, Flint, and Detroit regions of the state also lend themselves to a possible Buc-ee's location because of how many freeways come in and out of all three of these locations. I just don't think it's in the Buc-ee's brand DNA to pick such populated locations because if you look at the other locations they do have, they are not in areas that are this developed. So this is my least favorite choice of the ones I have laid out.
So I guess we will have to wait and see if Buc-ee's finally pulls the trigger on a Michigan location.
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Gallery Credit: DreDay