Remodel Photos and Story

We purchased the former Ace Laundrymat in June of 2022.  The store was run down and in desperate need of repair.  Most of the machines were out of order and could not be repaired.  The store looked like it hadn't been cleaned in years.  But customers were still using the laundromat.  We grew to call the store a zombiemat because it was dead, but still chugging along.  

We ordered all new Dexter brand washers and dryers for the store in June of 2022.  Because of the pandemic and supply chain issues we were told that the new machines wouldn't arrive until sometime in October 2022.  We were hopeful we could chug along until the machines arrived.  Our hopes were quickly dashed as our machine arrival date was pushed out to sometime in 2023.  The earliest we hear we could get new machines was January 2023.  

Here's what the store looked like when we took it over in June of 2022.

The old store layout.  The store was dark, dingy, and cluttered.

The old store layout. The store was dark, dingy, and cluttered.

The old "new" machines on the back wall.

The old "new" machines on the back wall.

The old dryers.  About 6 or 7 of them worked.

The old dryers. About 6 or 7 of them worked.

The old Wascomat washers that were located in the middle of the store.  Many leaked when in use, and there were only 4 in this row that actually worked.

The old Wascomat washers that were located in the middle of the store. Many leaked when in use, and there were only 4 in this row that actually worked.

The old change makers.  The blue one was the only one that worked ... some of the time.

The old change makers. The blue one was the only one that worked ... some of the time.

The middle top loaders.  Most were non-functioning.

The middle top loaders. Most were non-functioning.

September 2022

While we were waiting around for new machines, we took the time to add some additional items to the store to make it more comfortable.  In late August, early September, the one remaining swamp cooler died.  There was one swamp cooler to "cool" the entire store and it didn't do anything to alleviate the heat.

We also spent time removing a lot of the clutter and cleaning the place up.  There were many years of dust accumulated on things, as well as things that should have been thrown away decades ago in the back room.  during this time many of the lights in the store failed as well making the store dark.  You can see in the picture below the lights there were out.

We were in the process of exploring the option of adding A/C to the store to make it more comfortable for customers.  The heat in Vegas can be extreme, and there was no way one swamp cooler and a fan was going to keep the place cool.  While exploring the option we were faced with a heat wave in Vegas during labor day weekend, and no operational swamp coolers.  We opted to close the store for about two weeks to replace the swamp coolers with A/C and Heating units.  There was no heat previously in the store unless you count the heat expelled by the dryers.  

The picture below shows the new mini-splits that were added to the store.  It keeps the place comfortable and cool during the hot Vegas summers, and warm during the cold Vegas winters.  The green board on the ceiling was the location of the last working swamp cooler at the time we took over.

 

We added 10 mini-splits that provide heating and air conditioning to the store to keep it comfortable.

We added 10 mini-splits that provide heating and air conditioning to the store to keep it comfortable.

November 2022

In September of 2022 we began having issues with the change maker (the blue one in the picture at the top).  It wasn't reliable and made a horrible grinding noise.  Back in September I had placed an order for a new change machine as I knew the old one was on it's last legs.  When I placed the order the company said that the item was in stock so I ordered one.  I received a call the next day stating that they didn't have the change machine in stock and it would take 13 to 16 weeks to get one, and did I still want to order one. 

Yes!  I still want to order one.  How is an item "in stock" when it takes 13 to 16 weeks to get to you?  Makes no sense to me either. 

The machine was so old we couldn't get parts for it, or a retro fit kit to have it continue working.

In about Mid-November the change machined died completely and would not work.  We now had no way to provide our customers with quarters other than to have a someone there to provide change all day, which wasn't feasible for a host of reasons.

About a week after the old machine dispensed it's final quarters we received notification that the new machine would be arriving.  Thankfully, it arrived the day after Thanksgiving and we installed it the same day.  The new machine provides two slots where customers can enter their bills and dispenses change quickly.

Out with the old change machine!

Out with the old change machine!

In with the new change machine!

In with the new change machine!

February 3, 2023

Unexpectedly, all the machines arrived today.  We received a call on February 1, 2023 at 11:30pm stating there was a truck at the store for a delivery.  Since we had not been notified that the machines were enroute, we weren't expecting anything.  On February 3, 2023 the machines were delivered.  Well, sort of.

We had asked for time to notify customer that we would need to be closed while the remodel took place, but we had no time to do that.  We had also planned to coordinate some storage of the machines while the remodel was going on so that the store could remain open.  That was not how it all went down.

The trucking company that was making the delivery was not informed that we didn't have a loading dock.  This meant they had no forklift to take the machines off the truck, no pallet jack to move them around in the truck or into the store.  Our installers had to scramble to rent some equipment to offload the truck and move the items into the store.

The machines were delivered and place inside the store.  This left no room for customers to come in and do their laundry.  We made the tough decision to close the store while the installation took place.  We also decided to cover the windows in black plastic to allow for an element of surprise and curiosity while the remodel took place.

While the machines arrived on February 3, 2023, other parts needed to do the install were still being manufactured.  The bulkhead that goes behind all the washers was being manufactured in Texas and was about a month to month and a half out which meant there was no way to put the new washers in.  

The installers began the work of putting in all the new dryers and getting rid of the old broken down equpiment.