Construction is underway on a new Belgrade car wash capable of accommodating everything from spiffy sports cars to semi-trucks and from jacked-up pickups to trailers full of “muddy toys.”
The new location at 6399 Jackrabbit Lane will be home to Montana’s second Rocky Mountain Car Wash (the first opened in Butte this summer). Taylor Webb, the company’s director of operations and daughter of founders Mike and Sherri Irwin, says the site is ideally located along the commercial-industrial Jackrabbit corridor – convenient not just for customers who wish to wash their personal vehicles, but for businesses and contractors who regularly travel that route.
Rocky Mountain Car Wash was started in Pinedale, Wyo., in 2001, and has expanded to eight Wyoming locations and one in Montana. (It opened its newest store in Butte this summer.) Since 2015, members of the Irwin family, formerly living in the Pinedale, Wyo., area, have slowly migrated to Montana, so Mike and Sherri decided to follow.
“We liked Bozeman, but we were born and raised in the country, so we fell in love with Belgrade,” Sherri Irwin says.
When the family found the two-acre property on Jackrabbit, they decided to build not just a car wash there, but also the company’s new headquarters.
Jay Fortune Construction, which just finished the Butte project, will build Belgrade’s Rocky Mountain Car Wash. Fortune will employ local subcontractors, Webb says.
Having visited “every car wash in Belgrade and Bozeman,” Webb promises that Rocky Mountain Car Wash will fill a niche in the valley.
“We’re going to be bringing something totally new to the market,” she says, before launching into an explanation of the advanced car wash technologies planned for the facility.
Customers will be able to choose between two types of automatic services: a “soft-touch” wash, featuring closed-cell foam that self-cleans between uses to ensure it doesn’t hold any dirt; or a “touch-free,” high-pressure water wash. Neither does a better job, than the other, she says, but customers tend to prefer one over the other, so both options will be available.
Once customers decide which automatic bay to select, they won’t have to think anymore.
“Our equipment is the smartest,” Webb says, explaining that it will complete profile scan of each vehicle and adjust itself accordingly to provide the best and most efficient wash.
The shop also will feature three oversized self-serve bays, capable of accommodating vehicles up to 14 feet in height.
Very dirty vehicles will be welcome – “the muddier the better,” Webb says – but no traces will be evident to the next customers in line. As at the company’s other locations, self-serve bays will be cleaned by on-site staff between each use.
Rocky Mountain’s technological focus extends beyond the equipment. The company monitors the titrations of its environmentally friendly soaps each week to ensure they are within ideal parameters, and tests the mineral-free water it uses for final rinses to guarantee that cars leaving the facility are spot-free. Reclaimed water is used to clean the undercarriage of each vehicle.
Belgrade’s Rocky Mountain Car Wash is expected to open in June of 2021, and will operate 24 hours a day year round. For safety’s sake, the property will be well lit at night, and the floors of the self-serve bays will be heated in the wintertime so they don’t become icy.
Washes will be priced between $9 and$16, and customers will be able to purchase fleet cards or prepaid wash cards, in addition to paying with cash or credit/debit cards. Free vacuums will be available for customers and non-customers.
As the business grows, Rocky Mountain Car Wash may expand into other Montana markets, as well as into Idaho, Webb says. Sherri Irwin says the family is pleased company headquarters will be in Belgrade, where they have been warmly welcomed by the community.
“We’re really excited to bring this to Belgrade,” Webb agrees.
Rocky Mountain expects to hire four employees to staff the Belgrade location.
More information about Rocky Mountain Car Wash can be found at rockymountaincarwash.com or on the company’s Facebook page.