Windy Hills completes upgrades

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  • From left, customer Thomas Reilly speaks with owners Tony Pecoraro and Gary Gardner.

  • Gary Gardner, on right, greets customer Tony Germano, on left.

  • PHOTOS BY VERA OLINSKIGary Gardner stands with new machines in the Vernon Windy Hill Wash n' Dry.

The Vernon and Franklin Windy Hill Wash n' Dry laundromats are all updated since owners Tony Pecoraro and Gary Gardner took over in October of 2014.

Windy Hill has added larger, faster, and more efficient washers and dryers. Their new washers are eco-friendly, using less water, in conjunction with a new water softener system. In addition, Windy Hill provides Wi-fi and 24 hour surveillance.

Pecoraro explained, “There are all new washers in both places, where they made a lot of improvements, and now (the customers are) happy.”

All the big washers increased from a 33-pound capacity to 40 pounds, plus 60-pound washers are available for big comforters and bed spreads; the washers finish faster, down from over 30 minutes to 23; using less water for the larger machines from 75 gallons to 31; and small machines down from 32 gallons to 10.4.

Hours are from 6 am to 11 pm, 7 days a week. Gardner explained, a lot of people work out of the communities, and Windy Hill's schedule gives an early time to get the wash done — or late after work.

Pecoraro added, during the summertime women come at 6 a.m., in order to free up their whole day. He said they use five machines, five dryers, and get all their wash done in an hour.

Gardner said, their laundromats are a social event. He added, a lot of people come down, meet, have coffee, and talk,

Some get pizza nearby, continued Pecoraro, put their wash in, eat, come back, or bring food with them.

With their surveillance in Franklin, Gardner added, Tony worked with the detectives to help find the missing girl from Walmart.

Both Pecoraro and Gardner are family people and emphasized it is a family business. Their wives of 45 years, son, and daughters work hand-in-hand with them, from decorating to suggesting larger machines and size selection. Pecoraro's daughter does the computer work, and Gardner's daughter maintains Facebook. When the owners go away, one son and two daughters watch the laundromats for them.

As a community service on Facebook, they recently included a warning about the laundry pods being dangerous to children, who see them as candy.

Gardner takes care of the Vernon laundromat, and Pecoraro takes care of the Franklin one. They have been friends since they were 19 years old and met in college.

In the Franklin Windy Hill, someone asked, “Boss Man, can you help me?” With a smile, Pecoraro added softener in one of the big machines, while the “click, click, click” of the quarter machine gave change in the background.

Both men are friendly, kind, and knowledgeable. Pecoraro is a licensed electrician with over 35 years experience working for Sussex Electric and Mountain Creek; and Gardner is a retired Vernon police officer of 25 years.

They even have time for war stories of Ted Williams landing a plane in Japan after the Korean War, eye-witnessed by customer Marine Veteran Thomas Reilly.

Reilly said, “This is nice,” about the Franklin Wash n' Dry, “They have a nice set up here.” He comes once or twice a week, when staying in New Jersey

Gardner added, they frequently use customers' ideas. For example, they put Wi-Fi in their laundromats because exchange students from Mountain Creek use the “WhatsApp” to talk to their families and send pictures, all while doing their wash in Vernon.

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