Eric Dayton purchased the dormant car wash at 701 E. 2nd St. in Merrill in June. He has since added an all new automatic wash, along with many other updates to bring the car wash back to life as The Wash.
Dayton, a Merrill native, went to college for sports recreation management, and then earned a degree in criminal justice. He spent five years in Fond du Lac, working as a Community Service Officer. Eric decided what he really wanted to do was go into business for himself, and he wanted to do it back in his hometown.
The idle car wash was the right price, the right location and Eric felt he could turn it back into a thriving business. The car wash had been vacant for about two years and needed considerable work to get up and running. The road construction on First Street was a mixed blessing in that it gave Eric some time to quietly work on updating and upgrading the business.
The biggest task was installing the brand new automatic friction wash, which is the only system of its kind in Merrill. The system buffs the vehicle as it washes.
“You get a clean car and no disappointments,” Eric said.
All new doors on the wash bays were another big improvement. To draw people’s attention to the revitalized business, Eric repainted to building’s fa??????§ade from its former faded blue to bright red.
“People started noticing when we did the paint,” he said.
The Wash can help clean more than cars, however. Bringing a new concept to Merrill, Eric installed a pet wash, which offers pet owners a convenient place to wash their furry friends without making a mess at home. The pet wash is self service with all the supplies included. A special stainless steel washing tub is located in a heated room for year-round convenience.
“The pet wash is something new for Merrill,” Eric said.