Swamplot Street Sleuths: Highlights of Our Recent Hand Car Wash Symposium

Got a question about something going on in your neighborhood you’d like Swamplot to answer? Sorry, we can’t help you. But if you ask real nice and include a photo or 2 with your request, maybe the Swamplot Street Sleuths can! Who are they? Other readers, just like you, ready to demonstrate their mad skillz in hunting down stuff like this:

More of your answers . . . to your questions:

  • Inner Loop: Swamplot readers try to explain the epidemic of hand car washes infecting inner-loop parking lots. “They are extremely cheap to set up and operate,” declares Jared. “So they are a great short-term use for an empty lot as a bridge between development. A lot of builders / developers / speculators paid way too much for land during the end of the boom and they are either carrying that land with little or no revenue coming in from it–or they’ve given back to banks who were silly enough to lend money on it when it didn’t generate enough cashflow to support the loan.” Plus: “They MAKE MONEY. Splash on Richmond used to have a line down the street every sunny day when they were $15 for a basic hand wash. Even 50 cars a day was $750/day–cash–with almost no overhead.” But have we created a bubble? Ross cites “Low barriers to entry and some perceived unsatisfied demand. Classic start to oversaturation of a market.” Finally, Lux suggests y’all are thinking it too hard: “My guess is it has something to do with all the BMW’s, Mercedes, Lexuses, and Hummers that need washing. How is one to stand out if you are driving a dirty Lexus?”

We’ll post more reader questions when we get them. Send ’em here!

Photo: South Beach Auto Spa