New Braunfels Buc-ee’s Scores “America’s Best Restroom” Title

The 68,000-square-foot, infamously clean convenience store and highway stop with 83 toilets enters the restroom “Hall of Fame,” winning Cintas’s 11th annual contest. 
Tue November 20, 2012 11:26 am
Buc-ee’s

Everything is cleaner when you need to pee in Texas. And yes, bigger too.

So long as you’re at Buc-ee’s, that is. On Monday, the New Braunfels location of the mega-convenience store and travel stop won the 11th annual  America’s Best Restroom contest , which is sponsored by Cintas, a company that “implements full service restroom programs” (i.e. provides thrones, sinks, and sanitation services). 

Buc-ee’s founder, Arch “Beaver” Aplin, celebrated by  dubbing the store’s 83-toilet facilities “the ‘Taj Ma-Stall’ of Texas … a tourist attraction in and of itself.”

Cintas’s announcement on its “Bestrestroom.com” website also didn’t hesitate to sprinkle–or is that tinkle?–on the puns and exclamation marks:

Customers making a beeline for the bathroom at Buc-ee’s say this Texas-based business flushes the competition when it comes to clean! Offering up some of the most spotless loos in the Lone Star State, the Buc-ee’s brand of convenience stores knows firsthand that clean bathrooms mean big business! The Battle of the Alamo may explain the city’s nickname “Something to Remember,” but outside San Antonio just off I-35 North in New Braunfels, stands a sparkling restroom facility that’s almost impossible to forget!

As Roy Bragg of the San Antonio-Express News  reported, Aplin received the honor at the 68,000-square-foot store on Monday. 

“Whenever I go here,” said Cintas’s Gary Gonzaba, “there’s always someone–seemingly right behind me–cleaning up.”

Of course, Texans already knew all about Buc-ee’s and its New Braunfels behemoth, which first opened in May.

“Are you kidding?! Have you seen these bathrooms?,” one  Yelper wrote of the place in August. “I walk 20 miles, uphill both ways just to poop here.” 

(H/T to  Austinist for that gem.) 

Buc-ee’s joins such posh past winners as Chicago’s  Field Museum  and Nashville’s Hermitage Hotel  in this lavatory hall of fame.

Among the runner-ups  this year were California’s Hollywood Bowl (#4), which had its latrines renovated by the architecture firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios , Chicago’s Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel (#3), and the Arizona restaurant Liberty Market. Cintas couldn’t help but note that America voted Liberty as “the No. 2 place to go No. 1,” but if you ask us, its five unisex stalls, each with their own “coordinating playlist” and individual motifs (including one themed like a restaurant kitchen, with “a collection of whisks, spatulas and strainers hanging from the ceiling”), would inspire a case of stage fright. 

“You can build it out of gold,” Aplin said in the  Express-News story, “but if you don’t clean it, at the end of the day, you end up with dirty gold.”

And Buc-ee’s wiped the competition. “We’ve never seen anything like it,” Cintas’s Sabrina Zimring told Bragg. “At first, we thought it was a glitch. I mean, there were thousands more votes than usual.”

So score one for Texas, and score one for not putting on airs when it’s time to see a man about a horse

“It’s so simple,” Aplin said. “It’s a nice, well-lit, clean facility. That’s all.”

Below, a 2009 ABC News report on just how Buc-ee’s cleaners stay on top of everything. 

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