For 50 years, clean cars have been the Cloer family business.
Now, the owners of Bonnie Mist Car Wash, with six locations in Caldwell County, are expanding their brand to Morganton. Their six-bay car wash is expected to open on North Green Street between the Gate gas station and International Moulding in March.
Owner David Cloer and his son David Cloer Jr., vice president and general manager of operations for Bonnie Mist, were at the construction site Friday afternoon to take a look at how things were coming along.
“Progress has been going pretty well except for the rain,” Cloer Jr. said. “That’s really set us back with all the concrete work and everything around here. We’re hoping to get open sometime in March. That’s what we’re shooting for right now. We were hoping to get open a lot earlier than that, but the rain has turned it into a mud pit over here.”
Already boasting car washes in Lenoir, Whitnel and Cajah’s Mountain, Cloer Jr. said the third-generation business started by his grandfather is dedicated to building a state-of-the-art car wash in Morganton.
The car wash’s pay stations will have touchscreens and the car wash will be laid out to avoid long wait times, he said. Meter boxes will communicate with customers to let them know how much time they have left. Credit cards and dollar bills, quarters and gold dollars will be accepted. Purchase of the top wash package will come with a token for five minutes of free vacuuming.
“We’re excited to start doing some new things over here in Morganton,” he said. “We’re looking forward to serving this community. We actually have a lake house over at Lake James. We’ve been over there for 30-some years. We’ve always enjoyed Morganton as a community. We come over here for the nightlife and to come eat dinner and do different things. We enjoy it as a town and working with Morganton.
“We always wanted to be in the market and come over here and give y’all a nice quality product in a car wash, especially in a self-serve and in-bay automatic environment. We want to be able to give y’all something to work with in this community.”
Morganton’s Bonnie Mist will have two automatic bays and four self-serve bays, including one that is handicap accessible. Cloer Jr. said that is a new development for the car wash and a goal it wanted to meet because the company strives to work with veterans and disabled customers.
“We wanted to try to be able make it so that our self-services are equally accessible to people who have mobility issues,” he said.
While the new location will run itself in many ways, it will have an attendant on-staff fulltime to help resolve any issues or answer any questions customers might have.
Cloer Jr. said that when scouting out a spot for the new Morganton location, the space with which they ended up had a lot of things to offer that fit the business’ needs.
“(N.C. Highway) 181 just affords us a really good location, especially with all the traffic that comes down the mountain and traffic that comes by this area” he said. “Especially in the wintertime once they start putting salt on the roads, it’s just hard to say no to a major highway like this.
“The (45 mph) speed limit is very attractive through here, as well. We usually don’t like to build in very fast speed limit zones. The slower you go, the more you notice things on the side of the road. We felt like this was a very good location for us.”
Bonnie Mist’s automatic packages will range from $8-12 and self-serve will cost $2 per four minutes, David Cloer said. Vacuuming will cost $1.25.
Cloer joined his son in mentioning Bonnie Mist’s excitement to serve the Morganton area, also expressing gratitude for how well the new location has been received both by future customers and city officials.