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News from the industry

October 11, 2010
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Wash fund-raising aids Katrina recovery
The carwash industry has begun to regroup, reach out and rebuild businesses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Justin Alford, co-owner of Benny’s Car Wash in Baton Rouge, LA, which features carwashing on c-store and gas sites, said they were the only ones open in the city of Baton Rouge around the time of the storm since he rented generators large enough to keep the facilities operating.

“People asked us why we did it. It was not for financial reasons, but it was to help the people who now have nothing,” Alford said.

“We gave away a lot of gas and supplies to people who do not have anything” Alford said. ”There were people in shelters around us that came into the store to buy anything they could to eat.”

After the storm had settled, a number of carwash locations and companies began individual efforts to help aid in the recovery of the Gulf Coast, some of which include:

  • Car Wash Partners (d.b.a Mister Car Wash) announced that it would match all employee, in-store customer and carwash industry company donations dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $100,000 from September to December 15, 2005. One hundred percent of all donations will go the American Red Cross to help those affected by this crisis.
  • WashUSA, the annual industry fund-raiser for The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America, decided to use its proceeds this year to help re-establish local chapters in New Orleans and Mississippi, after both Make-A-Wish chapters were destroyed by Katrina.
  • Auto Spa Etc., Ellisville, MO, partnered with the American Red Cross for a blood drive to help victims of the disaster, and devoted $5 from each paid carwash at the company’s four sites to charity.
  • Glas-Weld Systems, Inc. donated 20 percent of its glass and scratch repair kit sales to the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Hurricane Disaster Fund.

Touch-free OEM sold to tribe
Powerain Systems, Inc., a maker of touch-free wash equipment for the industry, has had the majority of its shares sold to the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa for an undisclosed sum.

Jack DeMarre, director of sales & marketing, said the company plans to retain all jobs and operations as they now apply, but the ownership under the Bois Forte Reservation Tribal Council will allow the company to have a stronger presence in the industry due to the council’s strong marketing stance.

With a successful Minnesota gaming outfit and organization, the council’s financial backing and marketing outreach is expected to enhance Powerain’s position in its traditional markets, which include convenience stores, quick lube sites, automobile dealers and investor markets.

Canadian carwash chain plans to expand
Geoff Baker and Laura-Lee Normandeau, co-founders of the North Vancouver-based Easywash Inc. in Canada, are planning to conquer the Canadian carwash market by launching the most eco-friendly carwash franchise, starting with a project that’s estimated to cost approximately $3.4 million.

Construction for their first Easywash location has an expected opening date in late January or early February 2006, and the facility is being built as a franchise model.

The location will serve as Easywash’s corporate headquarters and will be used to train and work with new franchise operators.

Dates changed for online trade show
The International Carwash Association (ICA) has moved the dates of its online tradeshow, Car Care World e-Xpo 2005 (, to November 9-13.

The shift in dates has been made in order to allow car-care product vendors, operators and owners the opportunity to participate in both the ICA online event and the NACS SHOW 2005 which was relocated from New Orleans to Las Vegas and will take place November 15-18.