WASHINGTON, March 6 -
Mr. Speaker, proud Texans naturally believe everything is bigger and better in Texas--because it is. Texas has the nation's biggest and longest highway system with nearly 80,000 miles of Texas highways. It is 880 miles from the Louisiana border to the New Mexico border and 500 miles from the Oklahoma border to the Mexican border. As Texas travelers are packing up and headed out across the great Lone Star State, odds are, they will make a pit stop at a Texas phenomenon--a convenience store called Buc-ee's.
In 1982, Arch ``Beaver'' Aplin, founder and CEO of Buc-ee's, along with his business partner, Don Wasek, opened their first store in Lake Jackson, Texas. Super size dreams, determination and hard work proved successful for this duo; they now own 27 stores and employee over 1,000 Texans.
At a Buc-ee's, you can always spot an Aggie, either from their personalized license plate, their maroon pick-ups adorned with A&M stickers, or the ring--don't forget the ring! Aplin himself is a proud Aggie. He graduated from Texas A&M in 1980 with a degree in construction science. At the age of 22, newly graduated Aplin began working for the family-owned construction business. Two months later, he got the idea to open the Lake Jackson convenience store. The rich heritage of tradition that sets Texas A&M apart from all the rest is evident in Aplin's approach to owning a convenience store.
Like camels in a caravan, motorists follow the famous billboards to find their own road trip oasis. Buc-ee's are well known for their large and very clean restroom facilities, which earned them the ``2012 Cleanest Restroom in America'' Award--no wonder the women folk fancy stopping at Buc-ee's. There is something for the entire brood to enjoy from Beaver Nuggets, breakfast tacos, Bar-B-Que, beef jerky and fudge to T-shirts and Texas proud merchandise--even deer feeders and deer stands for sportsmen.
Nowhere else on earth, but Texas, can you find a gas station bigger than a football field! I am not making this up. They have 5 flagship stores open 24 hours a day located in New Braunfels, Luling, Madisonville, Bastrop and Wharton. These stores are bigger than the average Buc-ee's--maybe we should nickname them the 8th Wonder of the World.
It is truly an honor to recognize this Texas-owned business; not only for its standing as one of the top convenience stores in the State of Texas, but for the great services that it provides to the citizens of our great State. The employees are happy, Texas friendly, and helpful. On behalf of the Second Congressional District of Texas, I commend all Buc-ee's employees on a job well done, not only in our community, but throughout Texas.
And that's just the way it is.