Hundreds of cars lined the area of Sixth Avenue and Prairie Street Tuesday afternoon for the grand opening of Emporia’s newest business.

And, a free car wash.

Despite experiencing construction delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. G’s Express Wash had no shortage of interested parties during its first day, offering free washes and servicing until 5 p.m.

According to Owner Danny Giefer — who made a focused effort to utilize local businesses and financiers such as Evergreen Design-Build and ESB Financial for the nearly $4.8 million project — the day marked a culmination of hard work and perseverance for all involved.

“You won’t find [a carwash] in a bigger city that’s more high-tech than this one,” Giefer said. “Today has acted as somewhat of a test for our equipment and employees to get adjusted, so it’s been really rewarding to see everybody’s interest and willingness to support a new business right off the bat. We’ve had about 500 cars, or about 150 per hour go through so far ... I just want to thank all the local help I had behind this project. For me, it’s been incredibly gratifying and I hope they can take pride in it, too.”

Giefer said he plans to offer free washes to the community through at least Thursday, but could extend the promotion through the weekend. Moving forward, regular hours will run from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Sundays.

“I think our customers will be especially impressed when they come in because this is using the latest technology,” Giefer said. “For members, they can pull up, our system reads their plate, the gate lifts and they can go right on in. The wash also uses an updated belt system consisting of two 30-inch belts that carry cars through. That type of belt technology has only been out three or four years at this point, and I think customers will find it a lot more user-friendly than some of the old chain systems that would hook under the car.”

After the chance for free washes expires, Giefer encourages customers to consider membership packages, some of which offer unlimited washes for as low as $19.99 during the time frame. Regardless, he hopes the new wash acts as a source of convenience for both Emporians and out-of-town visitors in the years to come.

“Having a local owner for one of these express washes is actually pretty rare,” Giefer said. “About 80% of the express washes in the country are owned by outside investors. I was getting offers from contractors in Nebraska and other places, but I said, ‘You know what? We can do this locally.’ So, this is really something that I hope remains somewhat unique to Emporia and something that helps people save money while also getting quality service.”

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