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Hurricane’s Sparkle Splash Automated Digital Laundromat — A National First

Thor Meeks and daughter Colette prepare to cut the ribbon at Grand Opening of Sparkle Splash on June 25.

After years of being without, Hurricane now has its own laundromat. Sparkle Splash Laundromat, located in Davis Court, celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, June 25.

Sparkle Splash is the first fully automated digital laundromat in the United States, featuring state of the art laundry technology. New customers use a digital kiosk to generate a laundry card and load money onto their accounts. Cash and cards are accepted, but coins are not. The washing machines and dryers feature touch screens and card readers, and there is a vending machine for detergents and fabric softeners. The laundry card is used to pay for all amenities at the facility.

In addition to the automated digital system, a web app is associated with the laundromat. The app tells customers if there are any empty washing machines available, and will inform them when their laundry is done.

The Sparkle Splash facility is a test store for Speed Queen, the largest manufacturer of commercial washing machines. LaundroWorks, a laundry card system for vended laundry, is also collaborating with the project. As a fully automated facility, Sparkle Splash is the first of its kind in the entire country.

Thor Meeks, the owner of Sparkle Splash, says that he wanted a unique name for the establishment. During a discussion with his family, his daughter, five-year-old Colette, suggested that the name needed to sparkle, and that the water would do lots of splashing. After the Sparkle Splash name was decided upon, Colette suggested that the logo feature a mermaid. Colette’s artwork is featured on the walls at the laundromat, and she also had a lemonade stand set up during the ribbon cutting.

Meeks says that there has been a need in the community since Geroge’s Dry Cleaning and Laundromat closed up shop more than ten years ago. People are driving to South Charleston and other locations to use the laundromat facilities there. Now local customers have a very short laundry drive.

Since Sparkle Splash Laundromat is located in the same building that houses Pita Pit and Sam’s Hot Dogs, customers can lunch while they wait for their laundry to finish. The facility also features wi-fi, as well as a bathroom which is accessible by using the laundry card. Sparkle Splash is open 24/7, so customers can use the facility at their convenience, day or night.

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