The area across the Foothills Walmart is coming to life! Tropic Car Wash is celebrating its soft opening, while 4th Avenue Gym has started construction next to it. A dental office and a Thai restaurant is also planned for the same area.

The first to open in recent development (Jacobson Home Sales Center opened earlier) is Tropic Car Wash, 3208 S. Avenue 8E, with entrances on 32nd Street and Avenue 8E.

The car wash uses soft touch technology, meaning it won’t scratch cars. With a computer doing everything, no employees are needed onsite. However, owner Marvin Mueller is available — and lives nearby — in case of problems. He invites customers to call him if there are problems. The phone number is posted at the site.

Mueller decided to build and open a car wash because “it seemed right for the corner,” he said.

The business made sense because it doesn’t require him to be there constantly. Mueller is an active-duty member of the Army and flies C27s, the jump airplane at the Yuma Proving Ground free-fall school.

Although not part of the venture, the owner of Magic Mist, 195 W. 24th St., has been helping Mueller set up the brand-new equipment and will maintain it. The car wash uses the same equipment and technology as Magic Mist.

Mueller said the goal is to get cars clean. He promises not to skimp on soap.

The open style allows customers to watch the “show” while they wait in line. The car wash bay, at 94 inches, has the highest clearance in Yuma, Mueller said. However, the car wash can’t accommodate duallys as it’s not wide enough.

In the future he will bring in vacuums and will be offering special codes for discounts. For this week, Tropic is offering half-off to customers. Just use the code 5050 for special rates ranging from $3 to $6, cash only for now.


Paul Bensel Jewelers has moved a few doors down from its previous location, but it’s still in the Big Curve Shopping Center. It moved from 264 W. 32nd St. to 234 W. 32nd St.

General Manager James Bensel, Paul’s oldest son, explained that the biggest reason for moving is to accommodate the growing business. The new space is three times the size of the old location.

However, the biggest difference is that a huge window allows customers to watch the goldsmiths while they work.

The jewelry store had been in the old location for 10 years, but its history goes back to 1952. Paul Bensel became part owner with Bob Gartland in 1980. In 1983 the store was renamed Gartland and Bensel Jewelers. In 1991, Paul bought the remainder of the store and it became Paul Bensel Jewelers.

Paul, who has been in the jewelry business for just about all his life, now concentrates on jewelry design, working on his custom line. His four children, all professionally trained goldsmiths, now run the store.

“We perform all of our services in-house, including manufacturing and repair,” James said.

Aside from offering the best-quality diamonds and jewelry, he pointed out, they care most about taking care of their customers. “We operate like a small business. When we’re dealing with people, it’s not just about the transaction. We think about what they hope to achieve and hopefully the leave happier than when they came in.”

Paul Bensel Jewelers offers custom and estate jewelry, with some of the pieces dating to the mid-1880s. Because all work is done in-house, jewelry can be sized on the spot — no need to wait.

James noted that three-third of the business they get is repair work, and the store doesn’t charge for checking and cleaning jewelry.

To reach the store, call 928-344-3344.


Fitness trainers Spencer Aiken and Tiffany Avelar will start training in a new space on Monday. Their business, Stronger Together, can be found at 1185 S. 4th Ave., Suite L.

Their focus is on training women of all ages and sizes so they can be leaner and fitter without being hungry. You heard right.

“Humans love to eat,” Aiken noted. There’s no reason to stop eating. He believes it’s better to eat and then lift weights to still get the desired results.

“We’re turning fitness on its head,” Aiken said. 

Back in the day, he recalled, women who wanted to “get skinny” did a bunch of cardio and didn’t eat. But the way to truly get fit is to do squats and lift weights. And 3-pound dumbbells won’t do it, he added.

He reassures women who are afraid of bulking up if they lift weights that they won’t get bulky unless they use steroids or “illegal substances.” 

Stronger Together offers one-on-one semi-private training with up to four people; however, each person does a workout designed specifically to their goals, abilities and limitations, such as injuries. It also offers training in small groups up to eight from Monday through Friday.

The trainers will also hold educational courses on nutrition, wellness, mobility and overall fitness.

He invites those “looking to get into the best shape of your life or if you’re tired of starving yourself to get skinny” to reach out to them. They’ll still get to eat the food they love, but they’ll work hard and achieve their fitness goals, he said.

For the training and class schedule, call 928-919-0286.


After a short hiatus, Yuma’s Commercial Construction Project Update is back. Here it is:

Certificates of Occupancy Issued: Art Gallery, 264 S. Main St., tenant improvements and remodeling; NOVA Financial, 1590 S. 2nd Ave., Suite 500, tenant improvements.

Building Permits Issued: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Southgate Mall, 3080 S. 4th Ave., Suite A, tenant improvements; JR’s Mobile Services, 2697 S. Avenue 2 1/2E, new office/repair garage; Las Flores Investments, 862 S. 5th Ave. for office alterations; MOR Furniture, 1448 S. Yuma Palms Parkway, Suite B, tenant improvements; Palmcroft Elementary School, 901 W. Palmcroft Dr., classroom addition/alterations; Ronald Reagan School, 3200 W. 16th St., alterations; Ulta Store, 1448 S. Yuma Palms Parkway, Suite A, tenant improvements; Walmart, 2501 S. Avenue B, remodel of the entertainment department; Yuma Advanced Surgical Suites, 1030 W. 24th St., Suite I, for tenant improvements; and Walmart, 8151 E. 32nd St., remodel of the electronics department.

New Plans Submitted for Review: 24/7 Get Fit Gym, 2376 S. 34th Drive, new gymnasium/fitness Center; Allied Cash Advance, 712 S. 4th Ave., tenant improvements; and Allied Cash Advance, 278 W. 32nd St., tenant improvements.


And that’s it for now! If you know of a new business that has or will be opening, relocating or closing, please let me know at

I get a lot of messages asking questions, which I welcome, but I can’t personally answer every question. If I find the answer, I will answer it in the column. I appreciate the readers who always act as my eyes and ears. Thank you!

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