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Canmore's only laundromat here to stay, owners say

CANMORE – After signs were put up in the window of the Dirty Laundry Laundromat indicating the space was for rent and the business was for sale a few weeks ago, many in the community who rely on the service grew concerned, but its owners now say it’s
Laundry mat

CANMORE – After signs were put up in the window of the Dirty Laundry Laundromat indicating the space was for rent and the business was for sale a few weeks ago, many in the community who rely on the service grew concerned, but its owners now say it’s here to stay.  

Owned by Basecamp, who also operates the Lamphouse hotel beside the laundry facility, the signs have since been removed and the company said it isn’t planning on selling the operation any longer. 

Sky McLean, CEO and owner for Big Moose Realty and Basecamp Resorts, told the Outlook the signs were only put up to see what the options were. 

“We wanted to explore if there was a solution for the laundromat in regards to whether we could move it to a better location that has more parking and could allow for a bit of a bigger space,” said McLean.

“But it wasn’t going to work and it just made a lot more sense to keep it where it is.”

The laundromat, located on Main Street downtown Canmore, is the only one in town aside from a dry cleaning facility, with the next closest option available in Banff. 

When asked why the company was looking for solutions, McLean said there weren’t issues, but rather she was hoping to find a location with more parking.

“I was just hoping there might be a better location where there’s more parking, like at the Lamphouse we just have a finite amount of parking, so I was hoping we could move it, or somebody else would purchase it and move it to a location that’s better,” she said. 

While McLean said the intent was to find more parking, some community members noted a website had been created, “Dirty Laundry Bar: Coming soon to Canmore,” boasting of a wine bar that would be built in its place. However, McLean said the bar wasn’t happening and the website has since been removed. 

“That website was just up from years ago and I guess we totally
forgot that it was even there and then somehow someone found it,
so then we were like ‘oh shoot, we forgot about that,’ ” she said. 

“It was supposed to be called the Dirty Laundry Wine Bar, but that was a long time ago and then, just the building is actually a little bit old and because it’s already plumbed and wired and everything for a Laundromat, that’s the best use for the building right now.”

The Outlook contacted the Town of Canmore to see if any applications of change had been made on the space. 

“At this time there is no application for a change of use there,” the Town wrote in an email. 

“The owner has spoken to making some changes to re-purpose that space, but nothing has come to us as of this time.” 

A post on Bow Valley Community Connections Facebook group a few weeks ago when the signs were initially posted said saw those who use the facility indicate most of the machines in the laundromat were not working. Many machines currently have ‘Out of Order’ signs, but McLean said the company plans to make some changes on that front.  

“We are going to buy a bunch of new machines, and spruce it up a bit,” she said.

“Make it a nicer version of its current state and that’s that … Clean it up because it’s a bit tired.”


About the Author: Alana MacLeod

Alana MacLeod is a reporter for the Rocky Mountain Outlook. Previously, she worked for Global News Toronto as a news producer and writer. Follow her on Twitter: @Lans_macleod
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