In this week’s Market Focus, we cover a new carwash chain, a new carwash education opportunity, a company-growth recognition and a multi-chain acquisition.

Gate Petroleum to open premium, express tunnel carwashes throughout Northeast Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — GATE Petroleum Company has announced the introduction of GATE Express Car Wash, a company that will build and operate free-standing, express tunnel carwashes throughout Northeast Florida, according to a company press release.

The new GATE Express Car Wash locations will feature a 125- to 145-foot tunnel system, the release continued, utilizing state-of-the-art technology that provides a top-quality carwash in under four minutes and will accommodate between five and seven automobiles at a time, with customers never having to leave their vehicles.

Once the GATE Express Car Wash is complete, the driver has the option to pull his or her vehicle into one of the numerous vacuum bays and utilize the free high-suction vacuums, the release added.

With plans to develop more than 20 locations in Northeast Florida, the release noted, GATE Express Car Wash has identified seven initial sites in the following areas:

  • Collins Road and I-295
  • Philips Highway and 9B
  • Beach Blvd. and Hodges Blvd.
  • Nocatee Parkway and Davis Park Drive
  • A1A, South Ponte Vedra Beach
  • Durbin Park
  • Emerson and Philips Highway

The first location will open in the spring of 2017 at Collins Road and I-295, in front of the Super Walmart, the release stated.

In addition, the company is under contract, or has signed letters of intent, for two locations in Middleburg and property on Baymeadows Road, according to the release.

The company is also actively pursuing sites in Fernandina Beach, Fleming Island, on Third Street at the beach and in Jacksonville on Atlantic Blvd., Beach Blvd., San Jose Blvd. and Old St. Augustine Road, the release added.

“For nearly 60 years, GATE has proudly served the motoring public throughout the Southeast,” said Hill Peyton, President of GATE Express Car Wash. “We are happy to build on that foundation and create first-class facilities for customers that value a car wash experience that is better, faster and cheaper.”

GATE Express Car Wash pricing begins at $5 per wash, the release continued, and all washes include free vacuum, many under covered awnings.

Monthly membership packages will also be available, the release stated.

Operating hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, the release added.

Additional information can be found at www.myGATEstore.com or www.gatepetro.com.

National Carwash Solutions to Open Enrollment to the NCS College of Clean

GRIMES, Iowa — National Carwash Solutions has announced that 2017 enrollment for the brand new NCS College of Clean opened on Wednesday, Oct. 19th, according to a press release.

The newest value-added training from NCS provides current, new and prospective carwash operators with the ability to learn from the industry’s top professionals and experts in the most comprehensive training academy in the industry, the release continued.

“One of the biggest differentiators about enrolling in the NCS College of Clean is that it allows its participants to gain real-world, hands-on training in a one-of-a-kind training center,” says Mike Gillen, CEO of National Carwash Solutions. “The institution combines a specialized course curriculum with class instruction in an interactive training center that allows participants to work directly with functioning carwash equipment and complete systems.”

The unique NCS training center features fully operational equipment ranging from full tunnel equipment to friction and touchless rollovers, the release stated, providing trainees with all-encompassing instruction and experience.

The curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive education and understanding of the industry, the release noted, along with best practices to help build, run and service a successful carwash.

Prospective students can also take advantage of a few specials when they sign up, the release added:

  • 50 percent off of inaugural classes if you sign up before Dec. 31st
  • One free course with the purchase of equipment
  • Volume discount ­– buy two, get one free of equal or lesser value

According to the release, 2017 NCS College of Clean courses include:

  • New Investor Workshop
  • Rollover Equipment Maintenance and Repair
  • Tunnel Equipment Maintenance and Repair
  • Carwash Chemical Management
  • Carwash Management

Prospective students can learn more about enrollment by contacting a representative at 855-893-1393 or emailing collegeofclean@nationalcarwashsolutions.com.

Hydra-Flex again earns spot on MSPBJ’s Fast 50 List of fastest-growing private companies

EAGAN, Minn. — The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal honored Hydra-Flex Inc. as number 25 on its Fast 50, a list of the region’s fastest growing private companies, according to a company press release.

Hydra-Flex appeared on last year’s Fast 50 list, the release continued, and was awarded a spot again due to revenue growth of 86.4 percent from 2013 to 2015.

As it is one of only two manufacturers on the list, Hydra-Flex CEO Jaime Harris attributes much of the company’s success to the company motto of “what gets measured improves,” the release noted.

Hydra-Flex prides itself on remaining a data-driven culture and using real, measurable results to drive innovation, the release stated.

“A critical component to Hydra-Flex’s growth has been using data-driven criteria to continuously evolve our products, processes and capabilities,” says Harris. “We have concrete insights into what we do best and what we can do better to remain ahead of the competition.”

Kim Johnson, the MSPBJ Fast 50 project editor, commented on the importance of these fast growing companies in Minnesota: “These companies aren’t just growing their bottom lines; they are creating jobs at extraordinary rates. They are providing growth opportunities for the businesses that serve them. They are boosting Minnesota’s economy.”

See the full Fast 50 list and photos from the event at MSPBJ 2016 Fast 50 List.

Nouria Energy acquires F.L. Roberts convenience stores and Golden Nozzle® Car Wash locations

WORCESTER, Mass. — Nouria Energy Corporation announced that it has completed the acquisition of the F.L. Roberts & Company Inc. convenience stores and carwash locations (headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts) through Nouria Energy affiliated companies, according to a company press release.

The deal includes 26 convenience store locations with fuel including two truck stops, 22 Golden Nozzle® Car Wash locations and a diner, the release stated.

This acquisition adds further scale to Nouria’s network, the release continued, and expands its geographic footprint into the important Western Massachusetts and Connecticut markets.

The transaction brings the number of Nouria locations that it operates and supplies in Massachusetts to nearly 100 locations, the release noted, and a network of about 225 locations spanning from Hartford, Connecticut, to Waterville, Maine.

Furthermore, this acquisition expands Nouria’s footprint as a car wash operator to 49 locations, the release added.

“The nearly century-old Roberts family business has established tremendous convenience store and carwash brands and created a family culture with generations of loyal employees. At this time, I want to welcome them to the Nouria organization,” said Tony El-Nemr, president and CEO of Nouria Energy Corporation.

“The acquisition of F.L. Roberts comes at a time when Nouria is solidly positioned for substantial growth” said El-Nemr. “The acquisition enhances our business profile with added revenue diversification and profit streams backed by strong c-store operations and an industry-best carwash network,” he added.