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Major Commercial Cleaning is also responsible for cleaning the Ryman, a deal Stewart secured in 2007.
“I wanted to clean the Ryman very much, but waited on them to call,” Stewart says. “I had known the previous manager for a long time and was very fond of her, but I also knew they were very fond of their cleaning man.”
Ultimately, the theater’s initial contractor didn’t have the manpower to service the account to their standards and Ryman’s manager invited Stewart to observe their cleaning processes. After a few negotiations, Stewart was awarded the contract.
“They called us because of our successful tenure with the Grand Ole Opry House,” Stewart says. “ We’ve been cleaning almost every day since.”
Major provides daily housekeeping, day porters and post-event cleaning services to the Ryman. The Ryman additionally operates as a museum with daily, guided tours.
“[Robert] has been a good partner,” says Gary Levy, Ryman’s operations manager. “If we need things he’s quick to respond. This is the most known building in Tennessee.”
That fact isn’t lost on Robert, or his staff.
“Both venues have a very high standard of excellence and cleaning,” Stewart says. “We’re grateful that we have these accounts. But, we have to earn those relationships every day. You’re only as good as your last cleaning.”
After a show at the Opry featuring the legendary country trio Alabama (and a cameo by country rebel Jamey Johnson) Major Commercial Cleaning’s night crew push large rolling trash bins into the 4,372-seat auditorium. As they unfold giant garbage bags they begin walking up and down the pew aisles picking up the larger trash items. For the smaller debris, such as popcorn pieces, the staff uses a customized leaf blower to push the rubbish to the front of the theater for sweeping. Then the seats are checked for stains and spot cleaned, and the concrete floors are mopped. The entire auditorium has to be “refreshed” for visitors by early morning, Stewart says.
As Stewart prepares to head home after the late night, he greets the arriving crew. They wait for the last of the concertgoers to stand on the consecrated circle so they can begin their shift.
It’s easy to see the parallels that frame Stewart’s career. Always comfortable behind the scenes, Stewart once promoted concerts at the same theater. He is still responsible for ensuring patrons have a great time — just in a different way.
“It’s important work and I’m particularly comfortable in it,” Stewart says. “It’s been a natural extension of my experience in the entertainment business.”
Cleaning ‘Nowville’ — Stewart Secures Tennessee's Sacred Institutions And Up-And-Coming Spaces
Music City Center Is MCC's Biggest Post-Construction Project, Yet
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