Buc-ee’s entices businesses to open along I-95 in Florence

Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 7:28 PM EST
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - One attraction in the Pee Dee is bringing growth to the area.

It’s been about six months since the grand opening of Buc-ee’s along I-95. One store is capitalizing on Buc-ee’s popularity by opening up another shop nearby.

“I mean I’m excited to build the largest Micky Finn’s yet,” said Rick Havekost, Owner of Micky Finn’s.

Micky Finn’s One Stop Party Shop carries alcohol from beer, wine, and spirits. There are currently two locations in Florence.

Havekost thought about expanding for a third for some time.

Charleston, Greenville, and even Myrtle Beach were new locations on his radar, earlier this year.

As Florence saw more growth thanks to the new hot spot, he knew where he wanted to go next.

“And Buc-ee’s opened up and I never seen anything like that,” said Havekost. “The traffic counts, and I don’t know how long that would last. We let a couple weeks go by.”

Weeks and soon months passed as the new Buc-ee’s continued to flourish along Highway I-95.

In May, Buc-ee’s welcomed a minimum of 300 new employees along with 120 gas pumps at their grand opening.

The one-stop Shop at Buc-ee’s pushed Havekost to seek advice for new plans.

“I called my father, and we drove out there together to look at it and he just looked at me and goes, ‘Rick you’d be crazy if you didn’t put a store out here first,’” said Havekost.

Other eatery’s nearby like Taco Bell recently opened to take advantage of opportunities for growth.

The President of The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, Michael Miller, said with a large amount of traffic from visitors flocking to the area it’s only the beginning of what’s to come.

“Traffic increases and there’s many people that can take advantage of that and leverage the traffic,” said Miller. “And they’re trying to do the same thing and I-95 creates a corridor of potential customers and we’re going to see that being taken advantage of on that particular intersection on I-95 and 327.”

Miller said the new growth would also create good competition for businesses, but Havekost said he sees it as a win-win situation.

“And the good thing about that location out there is it won’t really directly compete,” said Havekost. It came to fruition, and we just started negotiating signing the letter of intent and made sure that we could sell alcohol out there and got some non-competes cleared up with who could sell what.”

The blueprints of the new location are 98 percent complete.

Once that is certain, the build will take anywhere from eight to nine months.

The building is projected to be just over 10,000 square feet sitting on 2 acres directly across the street from Buc-ee’s.