FALLON, Nev. — “I consider myself a farmer,” says Ryan Sorensen by phone.
He and his wife Cherilee, as of January 1, 2019, are the new owners of Crystal Cleaners here in this northwest Nevada town of about 8,000, where state highways 50 and 95 meet, 60 miles east of Reno.
Fallon is the county seat of Churchill County, Nevada, and the cleaners Sorensen purchased serves a county-wide population of 30,000. His is the only dry cleaner in the entire county, he points out.
Ryan has experience managing his family’s ranches. “This is my seventh business. I am a rancher. We were dairy farmers, now we work with the dairy industry.”
Why buy a dry cleaner?
“It was going to close,” he says. “This is the only dry cleaner in Churchill County. I didn’t want to drive to Reno to clean my clothes! We serve most of central and western Nevada, from Ely to Reno.”
He is a lifelong resident of Fallon. “I am a fourth-gen Fallonite. My children, who range from ages 9-16, plus two in college, will be fifth-gen,” Sorensen says. “They are learning to run the business.”
He notes: “We hope to serve Fallon as well as the former owner did. She treated everyone like family. We want to continue that tradition. I am trying to expand as well with pickup and drop-off services.”
Fallon is also the location of a U.S. Naval Air Station and home of the Top Gun training program since 1996. The cleaners provide services for the military personnel stationed there.
Sorensen notes: “We contract with their laundry service on the base. We do daily pickup and drop-off, and it gets especially busy when training crews come in. It’s a huge influx of work, with items like patches needing to be sewn on uniforms is a big thing.”
Ryan says he’s the COO/CFO and runs the cleaning operation, and his wife Cherilee is the owner.
Sorensen adds: “When Top Gun trainees come in, all heck breaks loose! The city feels it! My business jumps. Pizza orders go sky high too!”