Early-Summer Opening Hoped for Car Wash

By Eric Francis, Standard Correspondent
QUECHEE – Work that began this fall on a new carwash-and-laundromat alongside Route 4 got a boost in recent weeks from better-than-expected weather which allowed construction to continue right up to the holiday weekend.
Right now the target for opening is “as soon as the weather cooperates in 2018…probably early summer, if not before.”
“As of this morning the framing is complete for the laundromat,” James Kerrigan of Jake’s Quechee Market said on Tuesday, Dec. 26, noting that the exterior cement block walls of the carwash were nearing completion as well.
Although the Jake’s chain of ten businesses around the Upper Valley, all of which are owned by the Kerrigan family, is mostly known for their convenience stores and delis, they also already have one carwash operating successfully in conjunction with their Lebanon store.
Although the Jake’s chain of ten businesses around the Upper Valley, all of which are owned by the Kerrigan family, is mostly known for their convenience stores and delis, they also already have one carwash operating successfully in conjunction with their Lebanon store.
Kerrigan said he and his father Ed had been mulling over the possibility of adding a carwash in Quechee for some time, but getting a permit to build right next to their existing market might have been “challenging.”
When a one-acre property diagonally across the roadway next to the Dunkin’ Donuts became available, the family leapt at the chance.
“For several years dad and I have both thought that the area, especially along Route 4, could benefit from a car wash. Right now there’s nothing between White River Junction and Rutland so, based on the geography and the traffic, it felt like this was a good opportunity,” Kerrigan explained.
“We wanted the property to be more than a stand-alone carwash,” Kerrigan added, pointing out that laundromats use a lot of the same utilities that have to be installed at a carwash anyway so it “seemed like a good combo.”
The 1,100-square-foot laundromat with will have over a dozen coin-operated washing machines and a like number of dryers and eventually the Kerrigan’s hope to include a “wash/dry/fold” service as well.
“It’s going to be ‘partially attended,’” Kerrigan said, explaining that means it “won’t be staffed all the time but there will be somebody there for much of the day.”
“The carwash technology will be a newer version of what we are using at the Jake’s Lebanon facility. It’s called ‘touchless’…you pull in, put it in park, and the machine moves around your car,” Kerrigan said.
The carwash will also have a covered “vacuum station” where patrons can clean the interior of their cars without being exposed to the elements.
While this is Jake’s first foray into the laundromat business, Kerrigan said he expects it “will be a valuable thing for Quechee and neighboring communities to have.”
“We’ve partnered with a laundry distributor that has a lot of experience in the business, and they will be helping us figure this out,” Kerrigan said.
This article first appeared in the Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 edition of the Vermont Standard.

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