Merrittonians left without laundry services after the local laundromat closed its doors.

For over 50 years, the Merritt Dry Cleaning and Coin Laundry has served Merrittonians until its closure last week.

The laundromat was not just a place to do laundry, it was a part of the fabric of the town, providing an essential service to residents without a laundry machine at home, adorned with over 280 portraits of Canadian and international country musicians.

“It is almost worth it to have dirty clothes when visiting and exploring in the Nicola Valley,” reads a 2019 Experience Nicola Valley article on the laundromat.

The Herald conducted a survey through the ‘Merritt grapevine’ Facebook group to see how Merrittonians felt about laundromat’s closure.

“We need another laundromat right away, where are 200 to 400 people to go and get fresh clean clothes?” asked Doreen Hewitt Sheena.

“Another business gone and no replacement. These businesses are not easy to start up due to environmental issues,” said Georgia Clement. “Every town should have one! What about all the people camping here in the summer, bet they need a laundromat too.”

The survey received an additional 20 comment responses echoing similar sentiments.

Currently, Kamloops and Kelowna are the closest places with laundromats available to those without a laundry machine at home.

After seeing the Herald’s post, Merritt residents Cherylle Douglas and Terri Norum reached out directly to comment further on the matter.

“I have been left without a place to do any laundry, after the flood and losing my home, I had to move into a motorhome,” said Douglas. “Although I can drive, I cannot afford to go to Kamloops.”

“I had offered to go work for the new owners but never heard back, and then recently I saw it was shutting down,” added Douglas. “I was not a happy person as this will affect me both mentally and physically.”

Norrum and her husband have been patrons at the laundromat for eight years. “I am at a total loss as to why the business has closed down,” said Norrum.

“The current owners should be ashamed of themselves for depriving this town of essential service,” Norrum added. “As a senior, I will not be going out of town to do my laundry every week as it is far too costly. Can only hope that someone will open another laundromat in town in the very near future.”