West Coast’s Leading Luxury Retail & Hospitality Contractor
Written by Ken Lambert, CSI & Ariana Jennell
If you are looking for a construction company that is dedicated to both excellence and consistency, look no further than PWI Construction. Headquartered in Las Vegas, PWI Construction is a national general contracting and construction management firm that is devoted to luxury retail, hospitality, restaurant, and specialty construction. With additional offices in Austin, Texas and Boca Raton, Florida, PWI keeps their reach wide and provides the same commitment to quality in every project they take on.
“Staying true to our market niches and our customer wishes is key to staying an industry leader,” Marc Ferguson, EVP & Principal, and mainstay since the corporation was established. “We want to bring a lot to the table as we approach a customer’s needs. We don’t want to be a commodity contractor, a jack of all trades and master of none. We specialize in our marketplaces, which have a similarity of a high end fit and finish on the interiors with related high expectations.”
PWI Construction got its start in Phoenix, Arizona in 1986. They transitioned from residential construction to national retail, eventually relocating to Las Vegas in 2013. The West Coast is where the majority of their business is located, but they are licensed in all 50 states and in areas of Canada. Considering their specialized niche in the market, they have had to employ a high level of commitment and loyalty in order to maintain longstanding relationships with clients. PWI approaches clients with the intention of working with them for the long haul. This means developing trust through performance and managing expectations. The practical management of owner/client expectations is crucial in the construction business- whether the contract is a single-family pool-deck, or a $150 million megaproject. Additionally, providing service for the current environment is top priority- because every project is unique and comes with its own set of challenges.
Some of PWI Construction’s most recent projects include The Venetian-Hotel Palazzo Tower Suites and the Hyatt Andaz-Scottsdale. The Palazzo Tower is their 3rd project for the Venetian which is a great example of the type of clients that PWI attracts and maintains. Once it is complete they will have remodeled over 7,000 guest suites for the world’s 2nd largest hotel property. To put this project in perspective, the tower included 2,872 rooms to renovate, plus corridors. This used 204,643 square yards of carpet, which equates to 1.84 million square feet of floor area! (insert their graphic/data on Palazzo.)
The Palazzo Tower has been an 18 month project in a congested urban area. Doing construction in such a small space can be extremely difficult and challenging, but PWI Construction is dedicated to maintaining a strict schedule in order to meet the client’s needs. By closing down and working on three floors at a time, and going from the top down, they have managed to stay on track while minimizing damage to the company’s revenue.
The Hyatt Andaz-Scottsdale is similar in project type, but couldn’t differ more in setting. It is on a 20 acre land site and was a combination of renovation and new construction. In addition, the landscape/ hardscape had to be protected and maintained. The size meant juggling 50 separate building permits, so communication and organization was key. Despite all of these challenges the project was completed in a two-year span which is quite remarkable.
Another notable project in PWI Construction’s portfolio is the Vail Cascade repositioning project, soon to be the Hotel Talisa. This luxury collection resort, located in Lionshead Village in Vail Colorado, involved a complete interior renovation of all public areas and guest rooms. This means a new spa, lobby, marketplace, and remodel of the restaurant. In constructing the lobby the vision was to create a new sense of arrival that way you felt welcome in this unique remote location which PWI and their core team of partners captured. A challenge with this project was finding skilled tradesmen in the mountain resort community. PWI was able to employ many disciplined local tradesmen and shaped a strong rapport with the local city officials. In order to meet the rigorous schedule and quality expectations PWI also brought in many out of town skilled finishers.
Although skilled in hospitality, PWI Construction has much more to offer. They also specialize in retail, restaurant, and fitness work. One such project is The Domain in Austin, Texas. This is a business, retail, and residential center located in the high-tech corridor of Austin. The Domain has 100 upscale and mainstream stores and encompasses all of the other construction work that PWI is capable of.
In order to turn their client’s visions into realities PWI Construction has to employ both the best workers and the best technology. Every project has unique conditions that require attention and flexibility. This is made possible by PWI’s employees’ unwavering enthusiasm for their work throughout each step of the process.
“We constantly strive to continue to improve and stay relative with the best means and methods that enhance our customer’s experience,” says Ferguson. “We aim to embrace the coming technology and groom the next group of leaders.”
Considering the fact that customers and field employees are decentralized across the United States, PWI Construction makes sure to have the best technology on their side. Microsoft Office 360 and SharePoint operate as central repositories to collaborate with team members, sub-contractors, and owners. Industry leading software (such as Bluebeam and ProCore) keeps everyone up to speed, and the company employs apps to facilitate real time reporting.
However, it is important to have the people behind the technology working just as hard. PWI Construction’s corporate culture is integrity driven. The staff works in teams that rely on one another for success, and this fosters a family atmosphere. Employees are encouraged to continue their education by taking classes and seminars that make them more proficient members of the team. PWI believes that in order to grow into a leadership position you need to garner respect, and respect is earned over time. Promoting from within gives workers incentive to improve with the possibility of moving up the ladder. PWI’s continuing commitment to their employees has played a key role in retaining employees whilst maintaining an extremely low turnover rate.
Taking care of these employees is a top priority. With an EMR rating of 0.99, it is clear that safety is not only necessary, but enforced. Each site has a specific safety plan and a weekly meeting to address any potential hazards. There are many national projects, so PWI Construction has to make sure that they are using subcontractors that they can trust to uphold their standards. Since familiarity breeds accountability they bring in people who they know will deliver which is key in making sure everyone goes home at the end of the day in the same condition as when they first arrived.
PWI Construction also places a unique emphasis on philanthropy. It isn’t seen as a marketing strategy, but simply the right thing to do. As a charity minded company they operate as an involved member of the communities they are a part of. Active volunteerism and sponsorships are a part of the culture at PWI and they budget for it annually. Employees are also encouraged to donate time alongside the money that the company gives. Examples of charities that PWI has been involved with over the years are Make a Wish, Wounded Warriors, Habitat for Humanity, and Best Buddies of Nevada.
All of these factors combined make PWI Construction a strong leader in the industry. They know their strengths and seek to better themselves with every new project. PWI executive management ensures that they will provide the highest quality craftsmanship using the latest construction techniques with the best materials and service. In doing so, they take ownership of their published corporate mantra: “We Listen, We Communicate, We are Accountable”.
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