Twenty-one years ago I came to town to fly the season for Redtail Aviation. Part of the deal was to live out at the airport and that meant I had to come to town to do laundry. At that time Moab Speedqueen Laundromat was the place to go. They were nice, had plenty of quarters for change, and the place became part of my weekly rituals.
That summer job progressed into my career. Eventually I moved into town, and moved on to other flying jobs that required nicer clothes and some dry cleaning. Moab Speedqueen has always been the only full-service laundry place that could accommodate such things for me. For years now they have done a wonderful job taking care of my uniform shirts and pants, and by the looks of it they do a lot of other folks’ laundry as well. They are busy and I have always admired them for being a locally owned and run business – I’m happy to be a customer.
My heart sank the other day when I went by to drop off my things and was informed it would be the last time as they were being evicted. Apparently the new property owners have plans to bring in a Domino’s Pizza. For a time they said they may have had an agreement to share the space and still operate, but ultimately it sounds like there is no deal and the end of May is the last of the laundry, the nice business they had, and a few jobs.
I’m not sure what logic there is in a Domino’s at that spot. They have been in town before, and failed. And I for one won’t buy anything from them. Paradox Pizza (another locally owned place I favor) is now under the same property owners’ rule, as is Village Market, and Chile Pepper Bike Shop I believe.
Perhaps this is the inevitable creep of big outside business invading another small town as has been the story all over the country for a long time.
Being the spouse of a member of the city council I’m very aware that there are a lot of residents who are weary and anxious to hear about another hotel chain, resort, restaurant, etc., moving in and pushing out a locally owned business. I’m also aware there is only so much our city council (or any local government) can do to control such things legally. Our council is currently in the process of updating the city’s general plan. It can be argued that ordinances, zoning and the vision of what we want the community to be need updating too. The best we can all do is to pay attention, participate and support the council in these endeavors so we don’t lose more than what we may have already.