Local Businessman Successfully Opens Laundromat to Serve Students and Mining Contractors

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Working with Scott Harrington of Western State Design, local business owner Pat Rowan opened a new coin-op laundry in early 2013 featuring Dexter Express laundry equipment. The business has boomed and Rowan is already expanding to accommodate his growing customer base.

the station coin laundry

Owner Pat Rowan & Daughter Katie

In early 2013 local businessman Pat Rowan opened a coin-op laundry in Thatcher, Arizona, to provide high quality, reliable laundry service to a community that currently had limited options. The Station Laundromat, constructed on the land of a former service station that Rowan already owned, caters to the local Eastern Arizona College student population, the high volume of contractors coming in and out of the surrounding mining towns and the residents of the nearby Apache reservation. Rowan’s business is so successful within the community that he is expanding the store by adding more Dexter Express washers and dryers and adding additional dedicated machines for the fluff-and-fold and dry cleaning services.

Rowan recognized the community’s need by talking to clients from his two other businesses, E.A. Glass and Row N Rock, opened in 1995 and 2005, respectively where he got to know the local community members, nearby college students, and the transient mining contractors. Rowan said that finding housing in Thatcher and neighboring Safford, has always a battle, and most of the housing does not provide laundry facilities. With limited coin laundries serving the area, Rowan decided to build a Laundromat that would be Clean, Bright, and Safe, on the property he owned near the college.

Rowan worked with Scott Harrington of Western State Design to design and build the Laundromat with Dexter Express washers and dryers. Rowan’s accountant connected the two men after Rowan, encouraged by the accountant, decided to pursue the coin-op laundry idea. Harrington brought Rowan to a laundromat in nearby Apache Junction that he recently had designed with Dexter equipment. Dexter Express machines use less energy, which helps the business's bottom line and completes the wash and dry process faster, which customers appreciate. After talking with the owner of this laundry, Rowan embraced the idea of Dexter Express machines and the EasyCard™ payment system for his laundromat. EasyCard™ provides a coin-less interface with the machines that enables greater control over pricing, specials and loyalty rewards.

There’s a special connection for Rowan to be serving the college students at his laundromat – he met his wife while they were both students at Eastern Arizona College and his daughter Katie, who runs the daily operations of The Station Laundromat, also attended this college. Rowan specifically installed counters around the glass windows of his building for students to sit and work while they do their laundry. The Station Laundromat provides free wifi and internet stations so all customers can make the best use of their time.

The overall experience of building and opening The Station Laundromat has been very positive for Rowan, and he said there is little he would have done differently. However, had he known how quickly business would take off he would have started out with more washers and dryers. He planned for expansion when the laundromat was built, but Rowan never imagined that less than a year into operation he would need to install more Dexter equipment. Rowan is currently working with Harrington on the next installation of Dexter Express machines.

Without doing much advertising, Rowan said he’s seen steady growth in his customer base for basic in-store laundry as well as his dry cleaning and fluff-and-fold services. Rowan is already planning his next steps after this expansion is complete. He maintained the old service building on his land and hopes to turn it into a café. Rowan envisions the Station Café next to the Laundromat.

With 37 years of experience as a premier, full-service distributor to the coin-op laundry industry, Western State Design has grown to become one of the largest coin laundry equipment distributors in the world. Western State Design is proud to be a Dexter Authorized Distributor, and has been recognized as No. 1 Dexter Distributor Worldwide in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Dexter Laundry located in Fairfield, Iowa, is an employee owned leading manufacturer of commercial laundry equipment. All equipment is manufactured in Iowa. Visit WSD online at http://www.westernstatedesign.com or call toll free at 1-800‐633‐7153 to learn more.

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Shana Silverman
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