GREAT BARRINGTON, MA (News10)-Ever since the only laundromat in Great Barrington, Massachusetts closed in February of 2022, some folks have had to travel to other towns just to wash a load of laundry. But residents no longer need to drive 20 or even 25 miles away because they now have LaundryLand.
“It just felt like it was quite a strain for people to have to travel so far to get their clothes cleaned. And so, I thought perhaps I could step in and become a laundry tycoon,” said Paula Kohler. But the road to becoming a “laundry tycoon” took a lot of hard work for Kohler. The Berkshire County resident had already been running an Airbnb cleaning and light maintenance service in the area and she knew there was a need. After a year-long property search, she purchased and then renovated a former laundromat at 11 School Street. “My goal was to open within 60 days of buying the building, and the day we opened was 60 days.”
This weekend was LaundryLand’s grand opening. Every day from 9-9 customers will find new machines, dryers and updated technology, like new card readers and WiFi. “I’d like it to be a stress-free time. [People] talk to each other. It brings community back in a way,” said Kohler who told News10’s Anya Tucker that she is also planning on adding wash and fold service in the near future too.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Great Barrington is $65,192. But customers at LaundryLand told Anya that there remains a sizable portion of the population that have small budgets, or live in apartments without washers and dryers, so they lack access to laundry facilities. That’s why the shiny space on School Street represents an oasis in a town that for more than a year had been a laundromat desert. It also seems to have restored a sense of dignity within the community. “Two thumbs up. I’m really happy with them,” said customer Suzanne Gould, who told Anya that she would be coming to LaundryLand every week. Sylvia Nordoff who lives in nearby North Egremont said it feels great to now drive a short distance to clean her laundry. “It really is,” she said. “And what’s really nice is that these machines look new.”