KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Weeks after announcing the first Buc-ee’s location in Tennessee, company officials announced the largest Buc-ee’s Family Travel Center they have ever built is coming to Sevier County.
Kituwah, LLC and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians announced the first details for the development at Exit 407 in Sevierville on Tuesday. A 74,000-square-foot flagship Buc-ee’s Family Travel Center, complete with 120 fueling positions, EV Charging stations and a car wash over 250 feet long, will anchor the 200-acre development.
According to their website, the 74,000-square-foot development would surpass the Buc-ee’s Family Travel Center in New Braunfels, Texas as the world’s largest convenience store.
The 200-acre development project at Exit 407 in Sevierville, previously referred to as Project 407, has been named “The 407: Gateway to Adventure.” A release from Kituwah, LLC and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians states they are exploring additional development possibilities such as a world-class golf attraction, a go-cart facility and a distillery experience.
Based in Texas, Buc-ee’s is known for its pristine bathrooms, fresh BBQ, friendly service, and providing a unique travel stop unlike any other. With 38 stores in Texas, Buc-ee’s continues its expansion throughout the Southeast with newly opened stores in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and constructing stores in South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Stan Beard, Director of Real Estate for Buc-ee’s, said, “It is not a coincidence that we chose The 407 as our first big store location outside of Texas. We will be the proverbial ‘welcome sign’ at the front door of the exceptional travel experience that the Smoky Mountains, Sevierville, and Sevier County has to offer. You won’t forget your first visit to Buc-ee’s and it won’t be your last! We are thrilled to share our over the top customer experience and be a pivotal part of the Kituwah and EBCI vision for the Gateway to Adventure.”
According to Matthew Cross, Founding Partner and CEO of OE Experiences whose company is working with Kituwah, LLC on the project, The 407: Gateway to Adventure has already drawn interest from developers and tenants around the world.
“The 407: Gateway to Adventure is expected to draw 6.7 million visitors in its first full year of operation when Phase I is complete,” Cross said. “The space we have allows us to bring entirely new concepts to market and allows many existing local operators the chance to go big with some mind-blowing new ideas. This is the first of several exciting announcements we will be making in coming months.”
Developers are also counting on the site’s close proximity to Knoxville to help boost daily visits and the availability of workers.
Chrissy Arch, Chair of the Kituwah Economic Development Board said, “We know Knoxville residents will visit this location for a unique date night, dining experience, shopping trip, or an easy weekend getaway. It is merely a 20-minute drive from Knoxville and a little over an hour from Asheville.
“The tourism and overall economic impact of The 407: Gateway to Adventure will be significant for Sevierville, the entire Smoky Mountain Region, and the State of Tennessee.”