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Did Buc-ee’s Make a Big Faux Pas With New Bucky the Beaver?

The claws are out as statue makeover at new Luling, Texas, travel center draws ire of fans
Photograph courtesy of Buc-ee's

Buc-ee’s Ltd.’s latest travel center, which opened in Luling, Texas, on June 10, replaces an older Buc-ee’s store, built in 2003, which was the brand’s first travel center. The new store also replaces another part of the mega-convenience-store chain’s history—the camera-friendly, bronze Bucky the Beaver statue that occupies a prominent place at each location.

The company has given Bucky a makeover at Luling; however, fans of the chain and the mascot apparently are not pleased with the changes, according to a report by The U.S. Sun.

In a video posted to TikTok, one user shared side-by-side images of the original statue and the updated one that has been spotted at several locations. The new statue, while wearing a cap and with arms stretched open wide like the original, is no longer wearing shoes and is now wearing a Buc-ee’s t-shirt. Bucky’s facial features are also much more detailed and expressive.

Hundreds of TikTok users flooded the comment section of the video, many with negative comments or comments lamenting the changes. Fans have also claimed the new statue appears to be slimmer, said the report. Some make tongue-in-cheek accusations that the company has put Bucky on Ozempic, a diabetes and weight-loss drug, the report said. 

Representatives for Buc-ee’s did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Luling location is company’s largest to date at more than 75,000 square feet. It beats out the more than 74,000-square-foot Buc-ee’s in Sevierville, Tennessee, which opened in June 2023. Located at 10070 I-10, the forecourt offers 120 fueling positions. In the store, it offers thousands of snack, meal and drink options, including Buc-ee’s staples including Texas barbeque, homemade fudge, kolaches, Beaver Nuggets, jerky and fresh pastries.

Buc-ee’s will open its next travel center in Smiths Grove, Kentucky, on June 24, the chain’s second in the Bluegrass State. Located at 4001 Smiths Grove-Scottsville Road, the Smiths Grove Buc-ee’s will occupy 53,000 square feet and offer 120 fueling positions. Smiths Grove will be the smallest town to host a Buc-ee’s.

  • Buc-ee’s is No. 116 on CSP’s 2024 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by store count.

Since beginning its multi-state expansion in 2019, Buc-ee’s has opened travel centers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Colorado. Buc-ee’s broke ground on the first Virginia and Mississippi locations earlier this year.

Founded in 1982, Lake Jackson, Texas-based Buc-ee’s now has 35 stores across Texas, including the world’s largest convenience store, as well as 15 locations in other states. Buc-ee’s is known for its large, clean bathrooms, large number of fueling positions, Buc-ee’s apparel and signature food and snacks.

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