With two successful locations in Yakima, Spanky’s Car Wash & Detail Center is ready to make a splash in the Tri-Cities.
The owners, Suzanne and Craig Garrison, say construction of the 2544 Queensgate Drive location in Richland should be completed by the end of July.
“We did a lot of market assessment of the Tri-Cities,” Suzanne Garrison said. “And there’s a market opportunity here.”
Located next to Sterling’s Restaurant and Fujiyama Japanese Steak House and Bar just off of Duportail, the 120-foot-long exterior express car wash facility will provide customers with a completely touch-free experience, which Suzanne Garrison said is unlike any other local car wash.
“Most of the time you’re expecting to see brushes, cloths and foam pads at a car wash. Ours is a combination of soap, hot water, soft water and pressure,” she said, adding that touch free eliminates swirl marks cloths can leave behind.
Although, one of the biggest benefits, she noted, is that customers don’t have to stress about damage to their vehicle.
“You don’t have to worry about a cloth getting wrapped around your rear windshield wiper and ripping it off. Antennas and hitches are fine. And if it’s in the back of your truck, it’s safe. We have sheriffs who have four-wheelers in the back of their trucks that come through,” she said.
The maximum height for vehicles is about 88 inches. Customers stay in their vehicles for the duration of the wash. There are four individual packages starting with the $9 Original Spanky, which includes a wash, spot-free rinse, touch-free blow dry and hand-towel finish. The Ultimate Spanky is $14, and on top of the Original features, it includes a tire and wheel cleaner, undercarriage flush, rust inhibitor, triple foam polish, sealer wax and Black Magic tire dressing. TAll prices include tax, and all car washes include a token for free use of the location’s vacuums, or for those who just need to vacuum, quarters will work.
Garrison said the most popular item they sell is a monthly unlimited car wash package. Prices start at $23.95 plus tax for the Original and $36.95 plus tax for the Ultimate.
“With our unlimited car wash packages, customers get a sticker in their window that has a barcode that we just scan—you don’t even have to roll down your window,” she said. “We see your sticker, we scan it, you’re good. For one price, you can wash your car as many times as you want.”
The entire process from entering the wash to exiting is about three minutes, depending on the level of the car wash purchased. Spanky’s uses environmentally safe soap, and Garrison said they’ve installed a sophisticated water system that will reclaim about 80 percent of the water to reduce waste. Employees are on hand towel to dry any excess water left on a vehicle after exiting.
Between the two Yakima locations, there are 26 part- and full-time employees. Garrison expects to hire about 15 people for the Richland location within the coming weeks.
“I have a couple of people [from Yakima] who want to move here, but for the most part, I’ll be hiring local, Tri-Cities people,” she said.
The Richland location is being constructed by Siefken & Sons Construction out of Richland and will be a near replica of the Yakima branches.
Garrison and her husband are using business loans and income from their Yakima locations to finance the Richland property. The couple opened their first Yakima Spanky’s Car Wash & Detail Center in 1998 on Terrace Heights Drive.
“I kept driving past this particular piece of property, and I saw a need. I proposed it to my husband and it ballooned from there,” she recalled.
They ended up selling it, however, because they realized they didn’t want to be involved in the gasoline and convenience store aspects that were associated with that location.
In 2004, they found a new property along Lincoln Avenue and built the flagship Spanky’s Car Wash & Detail Center. Three years later, they repurchased the Terrace Heights car wash—leaving the convenience store and gasoline part out of the deal—and opened the company’s second location. They company is proud to say they were voted Yakima’s Best Car Wash nine years straight by the public.
For their third location, the Garrisons plan to have a grand opening celebration at the Richland site, although an exact date hasn’t been set.
“We’ll have specials—and probably give away an entire weekend of free car washes,” she said. “It’s a good way for us to test our equipment and get our employees into the groove of things.”
Store hours will be Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours may be extended depending on demand.
For more information about Spanky’s Car Wash & Detail Center, including updates on the grand opening celebration, visit the company’s Facebook page.
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