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ATHENS, Ala. — A big day for beaver nugget lovers! The state’s fourth Buc-ee’s location broke ground in Limestone County Wednesday afternoon. The site is at the southeast corner of I-65 and Huntsville Brownsferry Road.

“Oh it’s great,” said Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks. “You see my excitement, so it’s good!”

Mayor Marks was just one of dozens attending the groundbreaking, and getting to try out the famous beaver nuggets.

“You’re going to be amazed at the food that’s in that store,” said Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon. “I think you could buy everything from a deer stand to a beaver chip in there.”

Many travelers would call the center a one-stop shop. While it will be the fourth Buc-ee’s location in Alabama, it’s the first in the Tennessee Valley.

The center will be about 54,000 square feet and will welcome travelers and locals driving through Limestone County.

“This is truly a destination spot,” said Mayor Marks. “Something that we’ve worked on and property owners have worked on for well over a year and today we’re making it happen!”

The CEO of Buc-ee’s, Arch “Beaver” Aplin, says this will not only bring visitors to Athens but jobs as well.

“We’ll likely have probably an excess of 200 employees,” he said. “I’m talking about full-time, not part-time.”

Mayor Marks adds the economic impact from the chain will spin off other businesses coming to the area over the next two to three years.

Aplin hopes the new Buc-ee’s location to be up and running in one year. He says if it’s not open by Thanksgiving 2022, it should be by Christmas.