Opryland Resort Rebuilds in Record Time (Part 2)

Bruce Beggs |

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Gaylord Opryland Resort is taking guest reservations for a Nov. 15 reopening, just six months after massive springtime flooding from the adjacent Cumberland River left the hotel, the legendary Grand Ole Opry and the company’s other area facilities severely damaged.
As of mid-September, clean-up and remediation work had been completed and construction was under way, according to Pete Weien, senior vice president and general manager, who posted an update on the resort’s website.
Opryland’s on-premise laundry—which lies just 100 yards from the banks of the Cumberland—has required full renovation. Installation of a new tunnel washer and other equipment in the hotel’s OPL is continuing in advance of the planned restart on Oct. 15.
Derek McCann, director of Opryland’s Rooms Division, credits the company’s contracting with a world-renowned disaster response company for enabling resort management to quickly assess the flood damage and formulate an aggressive strategy for lighting the “Welcome” sign again.ONE TUNNEL TO REPLACE TWO
Bill Jones, Opryland’s director of Laundry and Linen Services, hired Turn-Key Industrial Engineering Services to write the project bid specifications. He and McCann toured two plants featuring different equipment lines before deciding on a vendor.
“The laundry equipment we selected was Jensen based on several factors, but most important was the finished product that was produced as well as the sustainability side that produced considerable efficiencies for us in both labor and utilities,” McCann says.
A 14-module, 150-pound Senking tunnel washer with 52-bar press will replace the two tunnel washers destroyed in the flood. Six 300-pound gas dryers with infrared moisture-detection sensors will be fed by reversing conveyors from a Futurail overhead rail system, according to Jones. The rail carrying 300-pound slings will supply three-hour storage with a pairing loop.
“No shuttle will be used,” he explains. “A cake breaker will bust up the cake and then drop (it) into a sling that will store loads overhead until the individual dryer conveyors are ready for a load, thus eliminating the potential for the CBW to go on ‘hold’ waiting on a shuttle or dryers to be free.
“This is a big gamble on my part, but felt it necessary to maximize my washing and drying process. With only one CBW and six dryers, I have all of my eggs in one basket, so efficient performance is paramount.”
A rail line designated for a conventional wash aisle will feed two 275-pound L-Tron washer-extractors and two 300-pound stand-alone gas dryers.
The flatwork-finishing department includes a quartet of 2-roll, 48-inch, deep-chest ironers. One is for small pieces and incorporates a vacuum feed table and accumulator folder for five lanes. Another will be for high-end tablecloths and duvet covers; it features a three-station feeder and a single-lane crossfolder with double stacker.
The remaining two ironers are dedicated to sheets and feature cornerless feeders. “Each of these ironer lines has an automatically fed Viking sheet separator … that is linked together with the overhead clean-rail system that will continuously load the separators as needed. They each have crossfolders with an extra crossfold option to give a separate package size for king sheets compared to the queen sheets.”
Each of five small-piece folders has a fixed roll-up table that is automatically fed by the overhead rail system to eliminate the need for rolling baskets on the production floor, Jones says. There will also be another small-piece folder for mixed items, a blanket-folder system, and two tables for hand-folding items.
Two common take-away conveyors will direct the clean goods from the finishing equipment into a central collection point.
“We have added 20 feet of roller accumulation conveyor to the end of the powered common conveyor to allow the operator packing the goods to have some extra time,” he explains. “Quality of packed, finished goods must look impeccable prior to weighing out and delivering to the resort.”
Diamond Chemical will supply the laundry chemistry, including EPA-certified green products that are in line with Opryland’s corporate sustainability policy, Jones says.
Standard Textile is providing the operational software, which Jones says the laundry will use for operations and in distribution for inventory tracking and usage analysis.
In the drycleaning plant, W.A.G. of Nashville is providing the finishing equipment, Jones says.
It will include an 80-pound Union hydrocarbon drycleaning machine, seven pony washer-extractors with matching steam dryers, a Leonard Automatics garment-finishing steam tunnel and Sankosha pressing equipment. All garments are bar-coded and systematically sorted and stored on a Gardner garment carousel system, Jones says.
“The resort will reopen but will not just be redone,” says McCann of the entire property. “It now features several brand-new restaurants as well as a brand-new 20,000-square-foot lobby, 600 newly renovated guestrooms (meaning every room in Opryland has been fully renovated in the last three years), a renovated 40,000-square-foot golf clubhouse and, of course, a brand-new, state-of-the-art laundry facility that will be critical in processing the 12 million pounds of laundry that Opryland does annually.”
“There are hotels in Vegas that have more rooms, and there are bigger convention centers, but put the two together and there is none bigger (than the Gaylord Opryland Resort),” Jones says.
McCann and Jones say they would be delighted to guide anyone in touring the laundry or the resort once the work is completed.Click here to read Part 1 of this story.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.


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