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Where the West Begins (Conclusion)

“Our machines can wash your horse blankets”

CHICAGO — Four brothers came back home to start a dry cleaner.


Home is a small desert town just west of the Great Salt Lake, population about 4,000, where a towering neon cowboy sign known as “Wendover Will” has been famously greeting westward-bound visitors coming over the Nevada state line since 1952.

Wanting to give back to their community, and using their mom’s nickname as added inspiration, the brothers opened their cleaners in this border town, described as “The Place Where the West Begins.”

“It’s kind of a long story as to why we decided to open a dry cleaner in Wendover,” starts Robert Spillman, owner of West Wendover, Nevada-based Rocket Cleaners, which opened last summer, and was recently named winner of an American Drycleaner 2019 Plant Design Award for Outstanding Niche Operation.

He points out that, “We went into this adventure having no experience with a laundry or dry cleaner,” but notes that they have received tremendous support from equipment and chemical suppliers, which has “really helped us move forward.”

What was the reason behind the location and design?

“We actually placed Rocket Cleaners in the location because it is the corner of the retail space we built here in Wendover,” Spillman explains. “We felt it gave us more back wall space we could use for venting, and the back piece was such an odd shape, it lent itself to back-of-the-house production and allowed us to use the rest of the building for our dollar store and restaurants.”

He continues: “Craig Riddle with Ally Equipment provided and installed all our equipment, and continues to provide us great support whenever we have a question or issue. Liz Davies came in and trained us prior to opening, and we continue to rely on her for expertise in cleaning different articles, procedures, and supplies.

“Bud Bakker with Sankosha, Jeff Schwarz with A.L. Wilson, and Jeff Allen with Seitz have all been a great help to us and have made it feel like a community we became a member of.”

Other equipment and products in use by Rocket Cleaners come from Columbia/ILSA, Continental, Hi-Steam, Parker Boiler, Ingersoll Rand (compressor), QuickSeal (heat-seal press), White (conveyor), Kreussler (K4 solvent), and R&B Wire Products.

Side note: Wendover Will’s more famous smaller twin “Vegas Vic” stands next to Fremont Street in Las Vegas.

The new drycleaning operation speaks directly to its “where the west begins” clientele. As this example tells, from a Rocket Cleaners’ Facebook post recently: “Did you know that our machines can wash your horse blankets? Drop by Rocket Cleaners for all your drycleaning needs.”

To read Part 1, go HERE.