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  6.  | Chugach Alaska Invests in CYBER Express Carwash Chain

Chugach Alaska Invests in CYBER Express Carwash Chain

May 24, 2023 | Alaska Native, News

Concept art for a CYBER Express carwash, coming soon to locations around Anchorage.

Chugach Alaska Corporation

A new carwash chain is coming to Anchorage, and the Alaska Native corporation for the Prince William Sound region is buying into it. Chugach Alaska Corporation is investing in CYBER Express, which has staked out locations for carwashes to be built this year.

Lower 48 companies recruit Alaskans to meet demand

Demand for qualified truck drivers in the Lower 48 has been so strong in recent years that some of the big national trucking companies have come to Alaska to look for labor.

One company even offers Alaska drivers a deal that flips the usual Alaska out-of-state worker arrangement on its head: recently recruited truck drivers at Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Schneider National can live in Alaska and be flown to the Lower 48 to work three-week shifts.

By his count, sixty-seven graduates of the Northern Industrial Training (NIT) trade school in Palmer have taken rotational schedule jobs at Schneider in the last two-and-a-half years, says Joey Crum, president and CEO of NIT.

Schneider reports it currently has twenty-seven Alaska residents driving various routes in the Lower 48. It’s worth the expense to recruit Alaska drivers because of the quality of candidate the company gets, says Rob Reich, Schneider’s senior vice president for equipment, maintenance, and driver development.

“We have found the work ethic, attention to safety, and professionalism to be worthy of the investment,” he says.

Super Soaper 

CYBER Express compiled traffic counts to select sites with convenient access for customers. The flagship location is on East 5th Avenue, where 6th Avenue converges. Other “Coming Soon” signs are planted at the busy intersection of Lake Otis Parkway and Tudor Road. Concept art shows futuristic design for the carwash buildings.

“Partnering with Chugach means a lot to our organization. This is my hometown and I’m proud to launch our new brand here,” says Paul Horstkoetter, co-founder and principal at CYBER Express Wash. Horstkoetter is also vice president of development and construction at Contour, a California-based real estate developer with properties mainly in Southwestern states. He was previously a project engineer for Alaska Interstate Construction on the North Slope, and he was briefly an aide to the late former US Senator Ted Stevens.

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Alaska Business May 2023 Cover

May 2023

Anchorage already has plenty of touchless carwash options. What CYBER Express adds, and what attracted Chugach Alaska’s attention, is an approach to sustainability.

“Through Chugach’s investment in Cyber Express, we have the opportunity to bring novel carwash technology rooted in environmental responsibility to the Anchorage community while continuing to diversify our portfolio of investments and creating value for our Alaska Native shareholders,” says Angie Astle, president of Chugach Investment Holdings, under which the investment will be managed.

CYBER Express promises to reclaim wash water, using 60 percent less compared to washing a car at home. Advanced filtration allows the water to be recycled for the property’s landscaping. Soaps and other chemicals are all dye-free and biodegradable.

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Inside the bays, glass wall construction lets in natural light, and LED lighting cuts down on electricity consumption.

“We’ve baselined the best in the industry for water usage per vehicle and energy usage and look forward to making future announcements regarding our commitment to improve industry standards,” says Horstkoetter. “CYBER Express is designed with the proud car owner in mind, offering superior cleaning technology and shorter wait times. From our simple yet sophisticated aesthetic, to our state-of-the-art facilities and architecture, we’ve designed a customer experience that separates us from the rest in all the right ways.”

CYBER Express and Chugach Alaska are on track to open additional locations within the first calendar year.

Alaska Business May 2023 cover
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