Largest Buc-ee’s in country opens in Sevierville

The latest Buc-ee’s travel center to open its doors in the Volunteer State was met with crowds of travelers and enthusiasts early Monday morning at Exit 407 in Sevier County.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and other elected officials including Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters attended the grand opening ceremony, where they spoke of their gratitude. Buc-ee’s confounder Beaver Aplin also spoke at the ceremony.

The Buc-ee’s location in Sevierville was under construction for nearly two years and will briefly hold the title of the world’s largest convenience store. Buc-ee’s is based in Texas, where the company was founded in 1982 and began expanding its chain of super travel centers outside the Lonestar State in recent years.

More than 400 people were hired as full-time employees at the Sevierville Buc-ee’s, according to Aplin. He thanked the community for coming to the event and also commended the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for their part in the site’s development.

The Sevierville Buc-ee’s is the first business to open at Exit 407: Gateway to Adventure, a 200-acre development owned and operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians aiming to attract some of the millions of visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Crowds reportedly began camping out at the Sevierville Buc-ee’s on Sunday evening before the 6 a.m. public opening Monday. The Buc-ee’s team expected cars to start lining up overnight ahead of the opening as well.

By daybreak, new Buc-ee’s stores typically have a “miles-long line of cars” according to officials and local traffic officials are expecting major delays at and near Exit 407.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation said last week that they expect heavy traffic in the area and asked that drivers use extreme caution. They also shared an animation of the roadways drivers can use to access the Sevierville Buc-ee’s.

The Sevierville Buc-ee’s is now the second Buc-ee’s location in Tennessee, as the Crossville store opened in June 2022. A third Tennessee location in Murfreesboro is slated to open in September 2024, while a fourth location is anticipated to open in Clarksville, Tenn.

Source: WATE by Melanie Vásquez Russell

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Published June 26, 2023