Ausphera Miles has owned a laundromat in the Shores Shopping Center for the last eight years. It’s the only coin operated laundry in Destin, but it might soon be the last because the shopping center owners are making way for a new Target store.
“They told us we were not in their plans, that is a Laundromat. They wanted everything in Destin to look like Destin Commons and we just don't fit that mold,”
It’s hard news to take for locals and visitors who depend on the laundromat.
Mark Robinson of Santa Rosa Beach says, “It's a disappointment. Who knows where I'll have to go now.”
Greg Whetmore from Oklahoma City says, “My hotel doesn't have a guest laundry service, so this place was really just a godsend for me so I could get laundry done and have clothes throughout the week.”
When told of the closing, Destin Mayor Craig Barker said there's not much the city can do.
"Should develop some form of incentives to ensure that [Destin] provides locations for service oriented businesses, and a laundromat is certainly one of those,” he says.
So far Miles hasn't been able to find a place he can afford or even get into and he doesn't have much hope. All the folks that own the shopping centers around here are going the same route, glitz and glass and glamour and retail shops, and they just don't want common folk
The laundromat will close on April 30. The closest coin-operated laundries to Destin are now at least 10 miles away in Ft. Walton Beach, Niceville and Santa Rosa Beach.