by Tim Fitzpatrick, Mid-Atlantic Sales Manager, Howco Inc.
After 20 years in the car wash industry, with 13 of those as Mid-Atlantic Sales Manager for Howco, I’ve developed a pretty good eye for potential car wash sites.
Over several years, I spoke regularly with a large, prominent land developer in Virginia Beach about the possibility and potential for them to enter the car wash business. They owned a vacant lot in town not far from where I live that I thought would be an excellent car wash site for all the usual reasons – location, ingress and egress, zoning, complementary neighboring retail establishments, and attractive demographics with lots of upscale residents nearby.
At their request, I did a site analysis, and we all determined that this was an optimal location for their launch into the car wash business. From there, the Howco team assisted with the process of obtaining a conditional use permit to get the site zoned for a car wash. I even went to and participated in city council planning meetings, which fortunately went very well, as the city was pleased to have a promising business to replace the empty lot they deemed an eyesore.Howco subsequently obtained site plan approval, put together quotes for the project, did site-specific drawings, and then began construction, which took about six months.
Splash2o opened on August 1, 2020, washed 467 cars on their first day, and the response has been outstanding ever since. This store has done so well, we are currently looking at four new locations, with one already underway. I can see potential for this investment group to have as many as 15 car washes within the next few years. They’re hooked!
Splash 2.0 accepted our equipment recommendations, which included:
* A 140-foot express exterior tunnel featuring state-of-the-art equipment
* Arches with personalized LED lights and sign toppers to inform customers of each wash application as they proceed through the tunnel
* Customized chemical packages
* 22 power-use vacuums
* 3 tailored auto pay stations
One of the most impressive pieces of equipment there is Dry N’ Shine™, which puts the finishing touches on the car and produces a vehicle that is nearly 100% dry. This car wash also uses Salt Shield® anti-corrosion application; and a biologic water reclaim system.
This is one of the largest tunnel washes we’ve ever built, and I’m very proud of the work Howco did on every aspect of this project. I look forward to growing the Splash2o brand in this and other markets.
Contact a Howco representative now!