Galaxy Car Wash Operator Spotlight

Galaxy Car Wash is a busy self-serve and automatic car wash facility on the main thoroughfare running through the heart of Roswell, New Mexico. Bob and Denise Menagh owb Galaxy, and they handle virtually all operational activities along with their son, Jacob. Not only is Galaxy well maintained and backed by decades of industry experience, it also features an eye-catching alien theme that adds some fun to the customer experience. We can pretty much guarantee you haven’t seen a car wash quite like this one!

the menagh family posing in a self-serve bay

The Menagh Family History in Car Washing

Bob’s father owned a car wash in Illinois for about fifteen years. Bob worked there, learning about the equipment and solid business practices in the car wash industry. Unfortunately, Bob’s father had some burns on his legs, and the cold weather was so harsh that he eventually sought out a warmer climate to call home. They found what they were looking for when they noticed two car washes advertised for sale in Roswell. Bob’s father purchased one location, while Bob and Denise purchased the other one. Bob eventually acquired both locations and has continuously served the area for over thirty years!

Roswell’s History with UFOs and Aliens

If you know anything about Roswell, you’re probably aware of its connection to UFOs and alien culture. In 1947, a flying object crashed near U.S. Army fields in the Roswell area. The Army announced that they recovered metallic and rubber debris along with a “flying disc”, making international headlines. They retracted the statement within a day, replacing it with another statement that the object was a standard weather balloon.

The retraction only caused speculation that the government was covering up that the materials were of extraterrestrial origin. Myths, legends, and conspiracy theories gained speed over the subsequent years, fueled by numerous testimonies about the “Roswell incident” from both members of the military and civilians. With crash sites available to explore, the UFO Museum (yes, we visited during our trip to the area) and the annual UFO festival, Roswell has become a tourist destination for tens of thousands of people every year.

galaxy car wash mural

UFO and Alien Culture and Influence on Galaxy Car Wash

As an homage to the city’s extraterrestrial obsession and history, Galaxy Car Wash has an amazing alien and space motif throughout the entire property. As soon as you enter the facility, you see several alien statues, cool cosmic murals, and even a newly installed spaceship hovering above you. Although Bob has run Galaxy for over 30 years, he only seriously started creating the alien theme a few years ago with a California artist who carefully creates the pieces. It’s truly a sight to see and it fits perfectly in the Roswell atmosphere.

denise menagh sweeping the lot at galaxy car wash

Clean Cars Don’t Come Second to the Fun Theme

Like any successful car wash, though, the main priorities are diligently maintaining equipment and keeping the property clean and attractive. Being located on the busiest, most commercial stretch of road in Roswell means that Galaxy certainly faces competing car washes, from both smaller businesses trying to establish themselves as well as large companies looking to add a new location to increase their portfolio. Of course, that’s never been truer than in recent years with the car wash industry seeing rapid growth.

Bob has seen many small car washes in the area opened by folks with little to no knowledge of the challenges of running a car wash. “They come and they go,” said Bob, continuing, “that’s what happens when you don’t take care of your place.” He also noted that while Galaxy has seen some temporary dip in revenue when the big guys open a new express wash, everything generally returns back to normal. While the tunnel is certainly a viable model, there are definite growing pains to perfecting them. Broken antennas and other vehicle damage, for instance, are things Bob has heard about from customers who return to Galaxy after trying a new express wash and not being satisfied.

Committed to the Success of Galaxy Car Wash

The reality is, the Menaghs don’t really seem overly concerned with competitors during their daily routine. They simply keep plugging away running their wash with their nose to the grindstone. During the time we visited, they almost constantly moved around their property. From tirelessly sweeping the lot to closely monitoring the equipment, they’re very obviously committed to the car wash grind. While the alien theme has made Galaxy a quirky, one-of-a-kind car wash, their daily success comes from being veteran operators who know that reliable functionality in a clean environment has to be the foundation upon which everything else rests.

Impressively, between their early car washes in Illinois and their long-running Roswell locations, the Menagh family has been a Kleen-Rite customer for over 40 years! We’re glad we had the chance to see Galaxy live and chat with the family. If you’re in Roswell, make sure to check out this unique car wash. They run a tight (space)ship and the service is out of this world!

space mural with 3 alien statues
space themed mural
car wash vending area with an alien statue
car wash vacuum area with space theme
purple alien statue
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