CHICAGO — Western operators, buoyed by some double-digit increases, saw October sales (compared to October 2009) rise 3.1%, while things were a bit quieter in the rest of the country, according to the most recent AmericanCoinOp.com unscientific StatShot survey.October sales in the South were neutral (+0). A handful of Southern operators blame continued high unemployment for sluggish sales, while others credit a growing number of transient workers for increased sales.Sales were down 2.2% in the Northeast, with some operators claiming the large number of stores continues to divide revenue. A small group of Northeast operators plans on hiking prices in the near future.In the Midwest, sales were down 1%, similar to September’s results (down 1.2%). Unlike last month, more respondents experienced a decrease in sales.Operators were also asked about October 2009 dryer prices vs. October 2010 dryer prices. (If operators had multiple prices, the lowest price was used.)In 2009, dryer prices in the South were 27 cents for an average of 7.22 minutes, with times ranging from 5 to 10 minutes. The price is still the same today, but the average time has dropped to 7 minutes.In the Northeast, dryer prices are virtually unchanged (26.55 cents for an average of 7.6 minutes) from last year. Several operators plan to raise prices in the near future.Midwestern dryer prices are a bit different (34.27 cents for an average of 9.27 minutes), with drying times ranging from 5 to 24 minutes. This year’s prices are virtually the same as last year’s.Western prices (25 cents for an average of 7.4 minutes) are the same as last year.AmericanCoinOp.com’s StatShot includes information on sales, wages, costs or other financial data based on anonymous survey information provided by industry owners and operators.Audience members are invited to participate in these unscientific surveys, which are conducted online via a partner website, on a regular basis. Self-service laundry operators are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define industry trends.Click here and follow the menu instructions to sign up for the free e-mail service.