By Bruce Karnick [email protected] The Ptacek name has been one that Prescott and the surrounding area has been familiar with since John Ptacek opened his meat market in downtown Prescott. The …
By Bruce Karnick
The Ptacek name has been one that Prescott and the surrounding area has been familiar with since John Ptacek opened his meat market in downtown Prescott. The legendary Ptacek’s meat sale comes to mind instantly, even to folks across the border, so when the Ptacek family does something, people typically take notice. What seems like a few years ago, they moved their grocery store across Highway 10 to their new location at 1005 Eagle Ridge Drive. The Orrin road location had been home to Ptacek’s IGA since 1989. The move across the highway gave Ptacek’s IGA a beautiful new store and plenty of space for expanded amenities. They have a small park area on the south side of the lot for kids to enjoy while their parents’ shop, on the north side they have gas pumps and now they have added a million-dollar car wash.
Pat Ptacek chatted with The Journal on Friday as technicians were putting on the finishing touches.
“The big thing was, we really wanted to be forward thinking on the technology side of it. Right now, you can go to www.ptaceksiga.com, you click the carwash thing, you download the app, that’s it. We’re not even open and we’ve already had 200 people signed up on the app.”
The technology behind the scenes is quite interesting. This is the first application-based car wash in the area.
“A lot of this is very, very forward thinking on technology. It’s the way I operate, the way most people operate. So, it was awesome. It was a struggle getting setup, but it was worth it. This is very tip of the sword stuff, like first of its kind,” Ptacek said.
The forward-thinking tech does not stop at the phone app. For those on one of the unlimited plans, there is an even easier option.
“When you pull in there’s actually cameras that read your license plate, and you don’t even have to roll down your window anymore, you just roll right into the carwash,” Ptacek explained.
Ptacek wanted something a little more fun to add to his guests experience so LED lights were included behind the LAVA BATH foamer. Something he had a little fun with during a video on Facebook where he talked about a ‘disco wash’.
All that technology is cool and makes for a unique experience for users, but how is the actual wash?
“If the wash is garbage, let’s be honest, no one’s gonna use it, even if it’s got all these bells and whistles. And I was worried about that,” Ptacek explained with a nervous look.
“These new brushes. These are called foam tech brushes. They’re not like the old ones that were cloth or cotton and held rocks. We’ve run, I don’t know, 100 cars through here so far, the brushes look brand new,” he added.
They did look brand new, they felt brand new and the expected life of each brush is 100,000 wash cycles. The technology expands beyond the soft touch brushes. The dryer, how can this be phrased? The dryer will blow your mind. The tech gave a quick demonstration of the dryer and Ptacek had a hard time standing in front of the above car outlets. The outlets that blow on the side of the car have significant power, too.
The results of all the work, all the tech equals a very clean and dry car. Yeah, you’re probably thinking, big deal, it’s a car wash, why are you at 600 words about a car wash? Slow news week? Because with the average cost of a midsized car being over $26,000 and a midsized pickup being over $35,000, people are putting more effort into keeping that investment clean. A well taken care of vehicle, including cleaning, can help keep the value of the vehicle higher. Keeping the salt off the vehicle can save not only the paint, but all the parts that are exposed to the elements. Increased life of parts means less cost down the road. Just like keeping your car clean, Ptacek said their maintenance plan for the wash includes nightly cleaning of the bays.
“We want it to look just like this a year from now,” he said.
If you are interested in signing up for the carwash app, visit www.ptaceksiga.com and click the image of the car wash packages. Signing up for the app also gives you a free wash, so be sure to make the trip to give them a try!
The inside of the carwash looks pretty common, but there is technology you cannot see. Coils under the doors and sensors are setup to protect users as they enter and exit, extended length bays allow for better drying, high powered, 10 amp motors run the drying system and an extended dry time all contribute to the best results in an automated car wash. Photo by Bruce Karnick