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Casino, water plant, schools: Cleaning couple’s bet pays off

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Walter and Kelle Cox, owners of Cox Building Services, hold their 2013 Sands Suppliers Award from Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. The casino has been a customer of the Allentown commercial cleaning service for eight years.

A Lehigh Valley couple took a gamble more than a decade ago and opened a commercial cleaning company that can name the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem as a client.

A Lehigh Valley couple took a gamble more than a decade ago and opened a commercial cleaning company that can name the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem as a client.

“We clean almost all of the restaurants at the casino, the bathrooms and hallways, the outside parking lot after an event, the bus depot and event center kitchen,” said Walter Cox, vice president of Cox Building Services, Allentown. “We do not do the actual casino or public access area. You need a special license for that, but we have been hired when needed at the hotel and event center.”

The Sands property is just one of many recognizable sites for which Cox Building Services provides cleaning and property maintenance in the Lehigh Valley. The company, run by Cox and his wife Kelle, has built a name for itself by word-of mouth referrals, hiring the right people and by maintaining a spotless reputation.

In times of instability, the company kept going by taking on landscaping, snow removal and handyman jobs – all services it still performs today.

Walter Cox said the Sands became a client eight years ago after the husband-wife duo bid on the job during the casino’s open house. At the time, the Sands chose another service, but came back to Cox to offer the opportunity.

“We have a tremendous relationship with them,” he said. “They know we are there when they need us.”

Cox Building Services was established in 2005 and is headquartered on Lehigh Street in Allentown. It employs 45-55 people at any given time and can handle cleaning and maintenance at locations from 100 square feet to 1 million square feet.

Ninety percent of its business is the Lehigh Valley, although the company handles construction cleanup within two hours of Allentown, areas such as Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Scranton.

“Our gross receipts will be over $2 million this year,” Kelle Cox said.

Kelle, who is president and handles human resources, said the company started with two employees: Her husband had two years with a commercial cleaning service and before then worked 10 years in the restaurant business. She had been working for Johnson & Johnson.

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