Clem Reding likes to take advantage of opportunities when they come up.
Reding has been an Albany businessman since 1985 when he opened a Chevron station at the current sight of Lassen Chevrolet. It was in 1993 that he opportunity first knocked.
“I went into the car wash business kind of blind but I liked the idea of owning my own business plus the land,” Reding said.
That opportunity turned into the first Four Seasons Car Wash and just last month, Reding expanded on his initial plan opening a third Albany car wash.
Like his first venture the latest is a self-serve car wash at 505 Pacific Blvd. S.W. right next to the Chevron station. The site which features four cleaning bays, has always been a car wash. When Reding and his partner Leroy Mary saw it was available it seemed a logical move.
“The location was great, in an established spot,” Reding said.
The latest site gives Reding the only two self-serve car washes in Albany. They complement his more elaborate tunnel-type car wash next to Izzy’s a little farther south on Pacific.
Reding said the newest addition is more versatile and up-to-date than his original car wash on Queen.
“It has more to offer our customers,” Reding said. “It’s pretty easy to maintain and we don’t have to be here all the time.”
Reding or Mary check it two or three times a day to make sure everything is operating smoothly. An elaborate security system keeps the site almost worry-free for the partners.
Mary said it can be checked from a computer or a smart phone and one of the owners or Kurt Ottomeier, who manages all three sites, is checking often enough to avoid most problems.
The fact the site is clean and well-lit also helps keep the site from being abused.
Reding said Truax Corp. got the site ready, painting it and installing all new equipment. It took about two months of preparation before Four Seasons was ready to move in.
“The equipment is top of the line,” Reding said. “There’s an all new vacuum system, we can take credit cards and it has the ability to dispense tokens.”
Mary started working for Reding in 1985 right out of high school. He has stayed with him in his switch to the car wash business.
“When things present themselves you have make a decision,” , said Mary, 44 and a West Albany graduate. “It was easy to keep working with Clem.”
Manager Ottomeier has been with Four Seasons for 17 years. The car wash employs two other people at its more automated tunnel system.
The newest member of the Four Seasons family is open 24/7 like Reding’s other self-serve site. It is currently running summer hours which are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. That will remain until Daylight Savings Time ends. Winter hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The business has remained steady throughout the economic crunch Reding noted.
“There was maybe a slight downtick for awhile but overall it hasn’t been bad for us,” he said.
Although it has been open only slightly over two months, Reding said people are starting to notice. He believes it won’t take long until it is as busy as his other sites.
“People just have to realize we’re here,” he said. “Once that happens I believe more and more will start to come in.”