In 2012, the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation entered into a development agreement with Buc-ee’s that included allowing the EDC to place a kiosk inside their Bastrop store to provide visitor information. Buc-ee’s attracts thousands of visitors each year – it is a rest stop for travelers driving through, and has such a cult following that people have been known to drive an hour out of their way to add it to their trip. The EDC wanted to make sure that all of those visitors were aware there is more to Bastrop than what they see on Hwy 71.
Due to changes in staffing and some technical glitches, it wasn’t until recently that Executive Director Shawn Kirkpatrick was able to renew efforts to install the kiosk. “This project has truly been a team effort, and took many partnerships to come to fruition,” said Kirkpatrick. “For a project that seemed like it would be simple, it was surprising how many pieces had to come together."
Built in 2015 by Jonathan Adam and his father, the wooden kiosk was designed to mirror the displays inside the store, so that it would complement the facility. “My first week on the job in April 2016 Shawn showed me the kiosk that was stored at City Hall and said we have got to get this up and running inside Buc-ee’s,” said Main Street Director Sarah O’Brien. It took several months to find someone who could finish the wood with the same wax finish as the other store fixtures, made possible by the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce’s Becki Womble connecting us with Roy Milam Painting, who did a beautiful job with the finish.
In the fall of 2016, EDC and Main Street staff began conversations about the display information that would be included on the kiosk. With the assistance of the City’s IT Department, plans began to take shape regarding the TV screen, internet capabilities, and a computer system that could run the continuous loop. The Bastrop EDC’s marketing team coordinated with the Main Street staff to provide the content. Earlier this year it all came together, including a new landing site at www.bastroptx.com to send visitors to access information from Visit Lost Pines, Explore Bastrop County, Downtown Bastrop and other websites.
With the assistance of the City of Bastrop’s Public Works department moving it to Buc-ee’s this week, the project is now complete. Kirkpatrick emphasized it was truly a group effort, saying, “Big shout out to everyone who helped get the kiosk to the finish line!” He also wanted to give a special thanks to the Bastrop’s store general manager, Richard Whitmore, for his assistance in making it happen.
The loop will be updated regularly with fresh information to encourage visitors to explore all Bastrop has to offer, from Bastrop State Park to downtown shopping to live musical performances. We hope the kiosk will attract guests to find out more about our charming city.