Brown Bear Car Wash drive-thru forced to remain closed

Apr 30, 2020, 4:35 PM
car wash...
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Brown Bear Car Wash is currently shut down due to the stay-at-home order in place across Washington state. You can grab a coffee, stop by a pot store to pick up weed, and get a burger on your way home, but you can’t wash your car in a drive-thru.

“We’ve contacted Inslee’s office directly, been in contact with his special assistant, and the response has been dismissive,” said Lance Odermat, vice president of Brown Bear, on the Dori Monson Show. “They don’t want to hear the reasoning or logic, and we have been told that we are to remain closed under no uncertain terms.”

Listeners have texted Dori to say that the car wash at the convenience store or gas station near their house is still open. But these open car washes, Odermat said, are in defiance of the governor’s rules.

“Some of them may be able to plead ignorance, but I know for a fact some of our competitors are acutely aware of the directive we received, and they’re choosing to disregard it,” he said.

“With our longevity in the community, our reputation, I’m not gonna burn that,” he added. “And even though I disagree with the directive, we’re gonna adhere to the rule of law as it’s put out by Governor Inslee’s office.”

Odermat did hear that Costco’s car wash is now in compliance, though it previously had been open.

“We’re all waiting anxiously for further direction from Governor Inslee,” Odermat said.

At Brown Bear Car Wash, it is possible to get your car washed with no human interaction.

“Across our network, we’ve got these automated pay stations. You don’t even have to roll down your window if you’re one of our unlimited club members, and that’s about half our customer base,” Odermat said. “There’s no human interaction required, but yet they’ve deemed us non-essential.”

Odermat also said the Washington State Patrol is one of their largest fleet accounts. Pointing that out to the state did not help, and they were still told they can not open.

Meanwhile, as pollen counts are high and spring weather is in full swing, people are turning to washing cars in their driveway, pushing soap into the storm drains. According to its website, Brown Bear Car Wash promotes eco-friendly practices, uses less water, and ensures that the pollutants on cars do not go into waterways and storm drain systems.

“It’s not just the environment, it’s the economy,” Odermat said. “We’re losing huge sums of money and, I’ll point out, we’re keeping everybody on the payroll, and we don’t have a single minimum wage job. Every position in our company starts above minimum wage, and we’re continuing to eat those costs and take care of our people.”

Dori: Is Inslee crashing regional economy to get state income tax?

Brown Bear Car Wash was started by Odermat’s father in 1957.

“I think a lot of us in the business community are hanging on and hoping like crazy that there’s going to be some relief here today or tomorrow announced in these news conferences,” he said. “But if the order continues on unchanged, I really fear for the consequences of the local economy.”

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

scam, vaccine...
Dori Monson Show

Meet the firefighter and deckhand who won’t get vaccinated

Washington state’s COVID vaccine mandate for most government, healthcare, and education employees is set to take effect Oct. 18. Meet the state workers who are leaving their jobs.
2 days ago
JAY INSLEE, covid...
Dori Monson

Dori: Inslee planning to push COVID vax through 2024

Gov. Jay Inslee has given himself extra-constitutional "emergency" powers for 19 months. Now it looks like he is planning to extend those powers.
2 days ago
seattle police, vaccine...
Dori Monson Show

Seattle police union president says some officers are ‘willing to walk away’ from job in solidarity

If Seattle police officers are not vaccinated against COVID-19 or haven't submitted proof by Oct. 18, they risk losing their job.
5 days ago
Dori Monson Show

King County Sheriff’s Office bans non-essential travel, sheriff travels to Boston

Employees with the King County Sheriff's Office were told all non-essential work-related travel "should be cancelled," but the sheriff went to Boston.
9 days ago
Ann Wilson...
Dori Monson Show

Heart’s Ann Wilson to sing National Anthem at Kraken’s first home game

Ann Wilson of the band Heart, a Seattle-area local, will help to open Climate Pledge Arena at the Seattle Kraken's first home game. 
10 days ago
Seattle shooting, downtown...
Dori Monson Show

Despite promises from mayor, downtown Seattle restaurant owner says area is still unsafe

Despite the mayor's promise of help, a downtown Seattle restaurant owner says he's cut his hours to five days a week, four hours a day over safety concerns.
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles


How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Brown Bear Car Wash drive-thru forced to remain closed