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How dirty laundry literally is helping small town beat dismal rural numbers

By Beccy Tanner, The Wichita Eagle
Reprinted with permission


The owners of the Wash-O-Rama in Cottonwood Falls, Christy and Luke Davis, proclaim they have the “prettiest laundromat in the most beautiful town in Kansas.”

And, after more than 4,000 loads of laundry since their grand opening last summer, they may be on to something.

Erik Pederson said Cottonwood Falls is one of several small, rural communities in the Flint Hills working together to keep crucial businesses in town so the towns continue to survive.

“There are regional pockets of goodness throughout the state,” said Pederson, vice president of the Entrepreneurship NetWork Kansas, a state organization that assists businesses starting and expanding in rural communities. 

“These are the quality-of-life businesses – the grocery store, the hair salon, auto repair, pharmacy and laundromat are all quality of life – the things that enable a rural community to continue to thrive so the residents don’t have to travel great distances to get core needs satisfied.”

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Photo credit: Travis Heying, The Wichita Eagle