By Amanda Cuda
Customers of Precision Wash & Dry were treated to some free washes Tuesday.
The Fairfield Avenue business occasionally offers “free wash” promotions (drying is always free) and felt the inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th president was a particularly good time to do something special for customers, said Frank Sproviero, the company’s asset manager.
Free washes were offered between 6 a.m. and noon Tuesday.
The Brookfield-based chain has 20 branches in Connecticut and Massachusetts, including ones in Bridgeport and Danbury. The Bridgeport store was still abuzz shortly after 10 a.m., mostly with regulars furiously loading and unloading their clothes as the laundromat’s TVs played coverage of pre-inaugural events.
The store’s operator, Kenneth Coleman, said customers had been streaming in all morning, eager for a chance to do their laundry for free. “It’s been outrageously busy,” he said. “I arrived at 5:50 a.m. and people were already waiting here.”
“We’re trying to start off the new year right,” said Sproviero. “We’re excited about the new president, and we wanted to put our two cents into that.”
Though the Bridgeport customers didn’t see a clear connection between a new president and clean clothes, most seemed happy about both the inauguration and the free washers. Those included Hassan Johnson of Bridgeport, a weekly fixture at the laundromat, who lounged in a corner of the store waiting for his clothes to get clean.
Johnson has been coming to the laundromat for three years, as much for the atmosphere as for the washers and dryers. “I see a lot of people I know here,” he said. “You’re amongst friends, here.”
He said he typically spends about $15 a week on a wash, which is relatively low for the store’s clientele. Most customers do wash for their whole families, and, depending on the size of their brood and the frequency of their wash, can spend anywhere from $30 to $50 per trip.
Still, Johnson was grateful for a chance to save even a little money, and saw the gimmick as a sign of positive things to come under the new administration.
“It’s just a reminder that things are changing,” Johnson said. “Things are going to be different.”
Devore Anderson, of Bridgeport, agreed. She comes to the laundromat once a month, and considered the opportunity to do her wash for free “a beautiful thing.”
She also looked forward to the presidency of Obama as a fresh start for the nation. “I think it’s [an opportunity] for us to know we’re all in this together.”
Updated: 01/21/2009 12:45:36 AM EST : Connecticut Post Online