The FCI Blog


Las Vegas Construction Meltdown

February 11, 2009


I had heard that Las Vegas construction was in huge trouble. According to the reports, the financial meltdown had broken the city’s back. The cranes were idle, the jackhammers silent and the workers sent packing. Put a fork in all those huge building projects--they're dead.

Regardless, after a month of sub-zero temperatures in Michigan, I was thrilled to head to Las Vegas to attend three trade shows last week. Not only would I find out what flooring, roofing, and site prep pros are encountering, I could witness firsthand all those building projects left for dead.

To get a closer look, I strapped on my New Balance shoes and starting running. I made it about a hundred yards from my hotel, Planet Hollywood, when the giant PH Westgate Towers project gleamed at me.

Too bad it’s shut down, I thought. The building envelope was nearly complete.

But it wasn’t shut down. Workers were on the ground, in the building and yes, even operating a crane. At least one Las Vegas project was on track. 

I ran down Harmon Street until I came to some utility trucks near the Hard Rock Hotel. It appeared the cable and electric companies were installing new lines. Next to them was a worker on a hoist spray-coating a new parking structure. And just a few yards further was a large crew operating earthmoving equipment to reshape the hotel’s entrance.

OK, at least entertainment-themed hotels were still expanding. Yet I was certain the carcasses of dozens of buildings were just ahead on the Las Vegas Boulevard.

As I headed north on the strip, I braced for the worst. I was approaching the $8 billion City Center project, which had promised to redefine the Las Vegas skyline. Without a doubt, this mammoth project would be a ghost town, an eerie tribute to the depth of our economic crisis.

But surprisingly, even from a distance, I could see that the project had made significant progress since my last visit. The skeletal shape of numerous buildings came into view.

Once I got closer, I saw steel, cement and glass in great quantities, plus the foundations for some type of elevated tram system.

As I approached the site, I heard the wonderful sound of work vehicles, power tools and heavy equipment. Amongst the dust, dozens-no, hundreds of vest-clad construction workers peppered the buildings. And yes, even some cranes were operating.

I took a few moments to enjoy this scene. Construction pros were working all over Las Vegas. New construction had not ground to a halt. Most projects, while suffering, were still moving forward.

Yes, I know that project financiers and managers are still wringing their hands. They are deathly concerned their construction loans will be called, investors will bail and the funds needed to keep construction pros on the job will disappear.

But at least for now, those pros are still working. Let’s hope carpenters, plumbers, HVAC, stone and tile, drywallers, carpet layers, flooring installers, electricians and dozens of other tradesmen and women will get their chance to finish those jobs soon.
You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

CFI - CCA GLOBAL PARTNERS GO TO HAWAII!

Another first!  CFI in partnership with CCA Global Partners (CCA) was welcomed by American Carpet One Floor and Home in beautiful Honolulu!  David Arita, owner of American Carpet One and Larry Marvel, Installation Manager of American Carpet One worked diligently to plan for this historic event.  Working with them were Robert Varden, Immediate Past President of CFI, Tom Jennings, consultant for CCA Global Partners and Bob Hutter, Vice-President of Training at CCA Global Partners.  This is an exciting first for CFI and a first for CCA Global Partners in a partnership to present the new CFI/CCA two-day, carpet installation workshops.    

Podcasts

Larry Leavitt, Dillabaugh's Flooring America, Boise, Idaho

Larry Leavitt, Dillabaugh’s Flooring America, Boise, Idaho, discusses the Boise market. Leavitt also talks about new products, his views of how the market will evolve in the years to come and how he will react to it as he describes the installation situation in Boise and the shortage of younger installers.

More Podcasts

FCI: Floor Covering Installer

FCI January/February 2015 Cover

2015 January/February

In this month's publication of FCI, editorial director Jon Namba walks readers through some of the latest adhesives, irons, weights and tools, as well as techniques.
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Floor Category

As 2014 comes to a close, which flooring category did you and/or your company install most throughout the year?
View Results Poll Archive

THE FLOOR COVERING STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\Flooring images\new FL site\fci-buyers-guide.gif
FCI Directory and Buying Guide

The FCI Directory and Buying Guide is the #1 buyer’s reference for floor covering installers. Easily find listings of floor covering manufacturers, industry associations, and installation & technical training schools you are seeking.

More Products

Tools

Tools.jpgThe newest tools, products and accessories for flooring installation.

Visit our Tools section today!

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook IconTwitter IconTwitter IconLinkedIn Icon

TalkFloor

talkFloor