New business offers carwash and dog wash
FARMINGTON — In a part of the country where unpaved roads and sandstorms are common, it shouldn't be too surprising that another car wash opened this month.
But owners of a new Grease Monkey and Monkey Shine quick-lube and car wash center at 1600 E. 20th Street, which opened last month, apparently are creating a trend.
Chris Beal, who co-owns and operates the business with two other people, said Grease Monkey and Monkey Shine offers another service for customers who tend to travel around town with their canines — a "dog spa."
Customers can insert coins or insert dollar bills and hose-down their dog with shampoo — regular or one to combat fleas — add conditioner and a blow dry treatment all for $10.
It might be a trend because another San Juan County business beat Grease Monkey to the punch. Road Runner Truck and Car Wash, which opened on North First Street in 2009 in downtown Bloomfield, also has a self-serve dog wash.
Though most people are more focused on vehicle care and upkeep than on their four-footed companions, Beal said, so far, about five or six customers utilize the dog-wash option each day.
Beal said he and his partners originally sought the location where Blue Diamond Auto Spa opened — near the Lowe's at the intersection of Main Street and Piñon Hills Boulevard —for Grease Monkey. But Blue Diamond owner Mike Radosevich "beat (them) to it," he said. Octopus Car Wash, whose original location is just down 20th Street from Grease Monkey, opened a second location two years ago by the Walmart on West Main.
Grease Monkey is a Denver-based company and the largest independent franchiser in the U.S., according to the company's website. The new Farmington location is the second franchise in New Mexico after one in Clovis, near the Texas border.
Beal said that aside from the appeal of animal washing, he hopes Grease Monkey and Monkey Shine stands out with its 18 free-of-charge vacuum stations, four self-service car washing bays and a commitment to the community. The business offers non-profits and school organizations and clubs the chance to use the car wash as a way to help raise money. The business offers dollar-off discounts at its car wash and, in turn, donates a dollar to the designated group, he said.
Beal showed off the business' automated wash, which he said can handle a greater volume of cars than his competition. Customers who pay for an oil change, receive a free basic car wash, a $6 value.
The quick-lube brand and car-and-canine wash center also uses social media like Facebook and Twitter to offer discounts in the form of codes customers can punch into touch screens at the car wash's entrance, Beal said.
Luke McCormick, a car mechanic who lives off of an unpaved road north of Aztec, brought his truck in for a wash on Friday, the third time he has come by since the car wash opened a month ago.
McCormick used the self-serve wash bay and said he likes the price and the equipment available to customers. For 10 minutes with a washing wand, McCormick spent $5. He showed the wand's bendable nozzle, a feature that no other car wash offers with vigorous water pressure, he said.
"I know what dirt and grime can do your (car's) ball joints and brakes," he said. "I like to be able to get in there and keep it all clean. And you can do that with a bendable wand. I like that a lot about this place. That and their free vacuums."
McCormick, who is a dog owner, said that, despite his weekly stops at the business, he didn't notice the pet-service mere steps from the self-serve car wash bay he was using.
"Makes sense. Why put a dirty dog in a clean car?" he said. "Maybe next time."
James Fenton is the business editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621.
What: Grease Monkey/Monkey Shine
Where: 1600 E. 20th Street in Farmington
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday (car wash only)
More info: Call 505-278-8462 or go to greasemonkeyfarmington995.com.