Buc-ee’s starts construction on Rockingham center (virginiabusiness.com, 1.30.24)

Buc-ee’s purchased 21.3 acres in Rockingham County for a planned travel center.

It won’t be too long before drivers on Interstate 81 in Rockingham County will see a sign bearing a friendly, hat-wearing beaver.

Texas-based travel center chain Buc-ee’s started construction on its first travel center in Virginia with a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday. Gov. Glenn Youngkin was there, as well as Buc-ee’s founder and CEO Arch “Beaver” Aplin III. Local officials attended as well.

Located at the intersection of I-81 and Friedens Church Road, the center will be 74,000 square feet and have 120 fueling positions. Buc-ee’s expects construction to take about 17 months, according to a spokesperson.

The company plans to hire more than 200 people for the center.

“One of the prettiest roads we could ever hope for, I-81 is full of folks seeking fun and all that Virginia has to offer,” Buc-ee’s Director of Real Estate Stan Beard said in a statement. “We are the perfect pitstop for their road-trips and for the amazing people of Rockingham County.”

Buc-ee’s purchased 21.3 acres for the Rockingham center for $6.6 million in September 2023. The county revealed plans for the location in July 2023 by posting on its Facebook page that the company had applied for a special-use permit for review and approval of a sign plan.

A month earlier, Buc-ee’s paid $6.5 million for 27.68 acres in New Kent County, at Exit 211 off Interstate 64. The county’s economic development department posted to its Facebook page in March 2023 that the chain filed for a conditional use permit for signage. Buc-ee’s is planning to have four total Virginia locations, according a June 2023 news release from S.L. Nusbaum Realty.

Founded in 1982, Buc-ee’s has 34 stores in Texas and 13 centers in other states.

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