If you've driven south on I-35 -- or if you've ever turned onto Lawther from Northwest Highway -- you've seen the Bucee's billboards. The ones with the buck-toothed beaver in a red cap hawking some mysterious concoction called beaver nuggets. It's an obnoxious marketing campaign, but it gets your attention. Who doesn't want to know what a beaver nugget is? ( It's sweet, crunchy snack food most closely resembling, if memory serves, Kellogg's Corn Pops.)
The convenience store chain now has the attention of the Wall Street Journal, which yesterday took a bemused look at the convenience store chain.
"Everything is bigger in Texas," the Journal begins in groan-inducing fashion, "including the bountiful bathrooms at Buc-ee's, a chain of excessively large roadside rest stops."
The focus of the article is Buc-ee's new outlet in New Braunfels, which the paper describes as "a Circle K designed by Willy Wonka." At 67,000 square feet, it's billed as the world's largest convenience store. It has 60 gas pumps, 20 soda dispensers, 31 cash registers, 23 flavors of fudge, and aisles devoted entirely to popcorn and beef jerky.
"The pièce de résistance: 84 gleaming toilets, each with its own dispenser of hand sanitizer and shined at all hours by a small army of attendants," the article continues.
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But the real question is whether Buc-ee's is too big? The piece strains to be objective, but the paper, based in a city that just outlawed the type of gallon-size soft drinks Buc-ee's patrons slurp down, clearly thinks the answer is yes.