Selling Suds. Wash-N-Go offers beer, laundry and shower facilities
Article Credit: Northern Light Region, Feb. 18, 2016
Smaller classrooms in the schools and an increasing number of retirees in the area are a clear sign of an aging population in Lake of the Woods County. That’s the reason that a young entrepreneur like Nels Holte, a 2005 Lake of the Woods High School graduate, stands out in the community.
Like many graduates, Holte left the area after high school but found himself back ‘home’ shortly after graduating from Bemidji State University. When asked why he returned to the area and began investing in the community, Holte responded, “My love for the outdoors brought me back. Family also played a big part of it.”
Holte has recently opened his second business venture.
Wash-N-Go opened in phases during the month of January with all aspects of the business now up and running. The unique new business offers a full line of beer, wine and spirits in a spacious bottle shop that sits between a full-service laundromat and shower facilities all under one roof.
The laundromat currently features six washers and dryers along with a snack machine with a very comfortable waiting area with television.
The shower area consists of four full bath facilities with shower, toilet and sink. Showers are paid with tokens that are purchased from the bottle shop or an automated machine. Showers are complete with towels, soap and shampoo.
“Originally the idea started with the showers, a need for my other customers,” said Holte.
Holte’s other customers are from his first business venture, Fred’s Beds. The 28-year old is currently in his fifth year of that sleeper ice house business.
“After the shower idea, then the laundry idea came up, then I realized an off-sale liquor license was available through the county in this area,” said Holte.
“I felt there was a need for that in the Bostic Bay area.”
As with most entrepreneurs, Holte is looking ahead as well.
“Depending on how things go, I’m looking at putting up a convenience store with gasoline and a possible car wash next door,” Holte said.
Holte also said he hoped to add additional washers and dryers, including commercial sized machines, to the laundromat over time.
The new business currently employs five people in one full-time and four part-time positions.
The newly constructed 40 foot by 60 foot building that houses Wash-N-Go is located north of Baudette at 3391 42nd Avenue NW or what is more commonly referred to as the Morris Point Road. It’s about a half mile north of County Road 8.
Currently the laundry and shower facilities are open daily from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Holte said he hopes to make those available 24 hours a day at some point.
The bottle shop is open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.