This nugget of information leaves a bitter taste since it isn’t in Texas. Even so, we're still proud of our home state gas station and how they single-handedly transformed standards for bathroom cleanliness.
And we still get to brag about having the largest convenience store in the country; the New Braunfels outpost is 66,335 square feet of snacks, decorative ceramic chickens, kolaches, brisket boards and everything and anything you’d want in life. This is where YouTuber Mike Chen recently ate for an entire day.
Buc-ee's slow takeover of the world through convenience goods feels eerily like Buy n Large in Pixar's 2008 animation Wall-E. Buy n Large is the corporate sponsor of the spaceship all humans had to board with roving recliners nurturing our super-sized laziness. (This movie works on so many levels, if you haven't watched it, run don't walk.)
So, we have a few ideas for the clever entrepreneurs at Buc-ee’s for their futuristic Texas travel center that we’re certain is in the "spitballing ideas" phase and will make the entire Milky Way proud. Here goes it:
(We own rights to all these ideas, and we’re not taking compensation in Beaver Nuggets. But, we’ll consider a lifetime supply of those Willie Nelson shirts with the long braids down the front of the shirt.)
1. If you build it, they will come ... to Marfa.Far West Texas needs something to anchor that quirky little town. And jobs. And hope. There’s for sure plenty of space for an entire Buc-ee’s city. Just think of the build-up of anticipation after such a long drive. And it’ll give those Marfa lights a run for their money. (Keep reading for why this really matters.)
2. Sleeping PodsEver been on a long drive and the glare of the Texas sun is literally forcing your eyeballs closed? And you just need a place just to catch a few minutes of shut-eye? A snoozer? Buc-ee’s needs napping pods. They’ve conquered clean restrooms like team USA conquered the Russians at the 1980 Olympics. Clean napping stations will require just a few tweaks to their operations manual. Offering some sort of light blanket and pillow, possibly made of a snack (think kolache) that you unconsciously eat as you sleep. Nom-nom-nom-zzzzz.
3. Drones to Deliver SnacksOur wandering (but never lost) barbecue enthusiast, Chris Wolfgang, suggests that Buc-ee’s deliver their tasty snacks to people who aren’t inclined to wade through the mass of humanity inside their stores. Just imagine you’re driving along Interstate 35 or 45 — or through the West Texas desert — and a drone drops a warm cinnamon roll through your sky roof. NASA could probably help coordinate too. (Again, keep reading.)
4. FOMO Across the UniverseObserver food critic Brian Reinhart respects Buc-ee’s obscure advertising tactics that tickle our sense of FOMO.
“One time we were driving on I-10 in Florida near Tallahassee and there was a billboard that said something like '850 miles,' with a Buc-ee's logo. No other text or explanation. And we were like, ‘Wow, that's ballsy to put a billboard 800 miles away telling the locals there is some weird cartoon animal out west.’ So the obvious next step to me is to put those billboards in Seattle and Detroit and Philly! Let them figure it out.” Next stop, Aldebaran.
5. Rocket LauncherFinally, put one of those signs on Mars. Yeah, the planet. Buc-ee’s needs to partner with SpaceX and launch rockets from the world’s first-ever galactical travel center. No longer will humanity waver on the concept of space travel; they’ll fight for a seat like a Black Friday sale on microwaves. Space food will be cool again. The Russians put the first dog in space, Buc-ee’s will put the first beaver in space, demonstrating our dominance once again.
Plus, Elon Musk is a new Texas resident who already launches rockets from the Texas coast. Back to point No. 1, he can launch from the Texas desert. There’s far less chance of West Texas communities complaining about rocket blasting in their backyard because there aren't really backyards in the desert. Plus, think about the privilege of pumping new life into the astronaut profession.
We’re anxious to get invited to a board room meeting (imagine the snacks!) to work through these details. Just circle back around when you get the chance, Mr. and Mrs. Buc-ee.