The car wash boom in Fargo

“Man, these guys love car washes”, a reporter who is standing on the main street of Fargo says with a deadpan voice. The city in North Dakota has seen a rapid growth of car washes over the last two years. New ones are still being built. A local television station went to investigate.

Most of us probably only know Fargo from the famous Coen Brothers-movie or the tv-series that followed. It’s not a big town. Three years ago, they counted little over 125.000 inhabitants.
Still, if you drive into the city you come across countless tunnel car washes by Silverstar, ZIPS, Whale of Wash and Tommy’s Express. New washes are still being built, as we speak.


Amid heaps of snow, Valley News Live spoke to a few citizens (brought in front of the camera as ‘car wash observer’ and ‘car wash speculator’ respectively) who were sceptical about the whole development. “There is obviously a demand, in this sludge times in winter. Let’s see how it holds up in a few years time.”

According to Kyle Fryer of Tommy’s Express Carwash, it’s quick and easy to develop a new car wash in the USA. “it varies from city to city, but the typical total development time is 12 to 15 months.”

The growth in the car wash industry is nationwide, not just in Fargo, Fryer adds. “A lot of what’s driving the growth are standalone car washes like ourselves, which are designed for efficiency.”

Of course the quick return of investment thanks to the popular subscription model also has something to do with it.

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Author: Rene Passet

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