Auto Spa owner Suzanne Skone is retiring and handing the keys to longtime business manager Brandon Santos. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Auto Spa owner Suzanne Skone is retiring and handing the keys to longtime business manager Brandon Santos. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Mercer Island’s Auto Spa welcomes new owner

Suzanne Skone recently sold the business to Brandon Santos, who has managed it since 2006.

For more than 20 years, the Auto Spa has been providing car washing and auto detailing services on Mercer Island. Owner Suzanne Skone has recently sold the Auto Spa to Brandon Santos, manager of the facility since 2006. Santos is well known to Islanders as the day-to-day face of the business.

“It’s time to hand over the keys — and there are a lot of keys at a car wash,” Skone said. “Brandon has been running all onsite operations for years and he’s the one that really knows the Auto Spa facility and equipment inside and out.”

Skone added that the car wash is “a business that requires a special person to own and operate because there is a customer service element in addition to mechanical equipment and maintenance elements.”

Santos enjoys both the customers and their cars. He has embraced the community, moving to the Island in 2012. He intends to keep up the community support established by Skone, including supporting charity and high school fundraiser car washes, and supporting Mercer Island Youth and Family Services, Art UnCorked and other Town Center activities.

Skone said she would like to thank the patrons of the Auto Spa for their support over the years and for helping to make the Auto Spa a vital part of the Island community. In retirement, Skone hopes to continue as an advocate for the environment and sustainability.

She said she was pleased to have helped protect local waters by providing an alternative to driveway and parking lot car washing, preventing oils, road grime and soaps from ending up in lakes and streams.

“I can confidently say the Auto Spa has kept literally tons of pollutants out of our waterways,” she said.

The Auto Spa also added solar panels in August 2014 as a participant in the city’s Solarize program. Skone estimates that the solar panels are providing about 10 percent of the business’s electrical needs and reducing carbon emissions by about 3.5 tons per year.

“It has been so much fun building this business and I think it is a real asset to the local environment (natural and community),” Skone told the Reporter.

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