Coates Car Care Opens $6M Boardman Location
BOARDMAN, Ohio – After more than six decades of service and three generations of family members in the car care business, the Coates family on Wednesday celebrated the opening of a $6 million location that features the latest car washing technology.
The new Coates Car Care at 6410 South Ave. is the family’s sixth car wash and second full-service location where interior cleaning is also offered.
“We feel that the community was in need of a full-service car wash here, and that’s how we are separating ourselves from other washes,” said Jim Coates, president of Coates Car Care.
The business was started by Jim’s father, James Coates Sr., in 1959, with its first location in Niles. The business later expanded with locations in Austintown, Howland, Hermitage and Cortland.
Jim was recently looking to expand the business at another site, but the deal fell through. He said he then came across the Boardman location.
“Where we are standing right now was a house with used cars out front,” he said. “We had to tear that house down, dig up all of the blacktop [and] fill the hole in from the basement. The other property was just an empty lot.”
Jim said work on the property was completed in a little under a year.
“The process moved pretty quickly,” he said. “It was a little over a year ago that we purchased the property. We were fortunate because the winter was pretty mild.”
Customers at the new location have access to 22 vacuums, microfiber towels and window cleaners. Those who want car cleanings done by employees can visit the waiting room for Branch Street Coffee, a TV and fireplace.
Four car wash packages, four car wash clubs and interior cleaning are also offered.
“Technology is always changing,” Jim said. “We always have the latest chemical dispensing unit and the latest equipment. We spent a lot of money on our light show because we really want to try to give the best experience that you can have going to the car wash that we can offer.”
A big trend for car washes now are monthly memberships, Jim said. Coates Car Care focuses on those benefits.
Members get special discounts and specials on oil changes and mat cleaning.
Jim’s son, James, chief operating officer, said he has been involved with the business for about six years. He and his brother, Jake, were able to bring on about 45 new employees.
“Memberships have definitely changed the industry,” James said. “Back when I was just a kid working at the car wash, my dad and my grandpa were running it, [and] you would rely on the winters to be our busy season and you would try to maintain through the summer months. Now with memberships, it’s that monthly revenue that helps keep you going all year-round.”
James said they have seen a lot of business since their soft opening last week.
“It kind of catches your eye from the road, so a lot of people stop in just from that,” he said.
This has been the biggest project for the business so far, James said.
“[It was] more money, more time and a little bit more stress, but it was exciting,” he said. “It was a fun process, and we had a lot of help.”
Although there are no set plans yet, James said they may be looking for a seventh location in the future.
The car wash is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the interior building can be accessed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Pictured at top: From left are Jake Coates, vice president of operations for Coates Car Care; Jim Coates, president; and James Coates, chief operating officer.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.