All the polar vortex cold-streaks and mountains of snowfall dashing across the East Coast and Midwest may be unwelcome for most people. But car wash business owners are saying the wintery weather throughout January have been great for business as consumers rush to clean the salt off their cars.
According to a new report from the St. Louis Business Journal, one car wash business owner, of the Waterway Gas and Wash Co., said he saw a 25 percent boost in recent weeks over last year. “I feel like a florist on Valentine’s Day,” CEO Bob Dubinsky told the Journal. “It’s fun. We go out of our way to scale up our services the best we can.” From the article:
He said his eight St. Louis locations have had to increase staff by 50 percent to meet demand. On an average day, a Waterway location employs 15 to 20 workers, but Dubinsky said on busy days, including those following the storm, the number of workers grows to 30 or 40. A typical day brings in about 500 cars at each location. However, Dubinsky said that after a snowstorm, the car count per day can grow to as high as 1,000 cars per location. Waterway charges from $5 to $120 for a wash.
Other car wash businesses around St. Louis also reported bumps in sales. Of course, this boost in the middle and eastern parts of the country comes during a tough time for West Coast car wash owners. They’re dealing with exactly the opposite kind of weather: one of the worst droughts in years. But the Los Angeles Times columnist Paul Whitefield offers good advice for consumers wondering whether they should go to the car wash:
Q: What about washing my car? The Beemer just doesn’t look right dirty.
A: Don’t be silly: Of course go to the car wash. Most of them are water-efficient anyway. However, for the two or three old people out there who still wash their cars themselves: Just stop it! It is wasteful, plus you’re just embarrassing yourself and your kids/grandkids anyway.