CHICAGO — The Grand Prize Winner of American Coin-Op’s 2009 Coin-Op Beautiful competition is Highway Laundromat in Long Beach, Calif.Whether you associate Long Beach with nightlife or not, Les and Benny Hong, the owners, give customers visiting the year-old Highway Laundromat a unique evening perspective. The “city lights” interior theme harmonizes with blue tile floors and blue/green folding tables. The owners also utilize the store columns to highlight the variety of equipment and display prices.The exterior is plain brick/stucco, and the building is painted gray with blue trim.Customers can choose from 14 top loaders and 46 front loaders. There are 62 dryer pockets, including three 50-pound units. Two flat-screen TVs provide a pleasant distraction from the laundry chore.The owners say two things set their store apart from the competition: a great mix of state-of-the-art equipment and a unique interior decor.American Coin-Op’s Coin-Op Beautiful competition focuses on the interior layout as well as the exterior layout. The color schemes, amenities, and any other unusual features play a role in the judging. We also reward operator ingenuity. Operators sometimes have to work around design issues and a variety of business obstacles to produce a first-rate store.American Coin-Op thanks all the operators, distributors and manufacturers for continuing to make this annual feature a memorable part of our editorial offerings. We know how difficult it is to put together an entry during the busy holiday period.Come back next week for a look at the four honorable mention award winners!