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Into the Blue

The ripple effect of the Great Recession on the construction industry was hard to miss. Not only were workers leaving their jobs for other opportunities, but they were also abandoning job sites as suspended projects became yet another casualty of the downturn. The Wyndham Desert Blue in Las Vegas was no exception.

Construction on the resort started in November 2007 but was shut down a year later. Knowing the project would eventually get the green light in the future, the project team — including building ownership — took steps to preserve the construction in place to make it easier and less expensive to restart. Materials already purchased were warehoused to protect them, in-place building components were painted to protect them from the elements, along with other measures to ensure the completed work was not compromised while the job was on hold.

Throughout the break, the team kept project permits alive through coordination with the Clark County Building Department and updated drawings to account for code changes. Once new building ownership was confident the project could again move forward, it was sent out for rebid in 2013. The owner selected Martin-Harris Construction as the general contractor, and MMC Contractors served as its partner to finish the job.

While the team took measures to preserve previous work, the restart was not without challenges. Many components of major building systems sat idle in storage for five years — including HVAC, electrical, and plumbing equipment — and needed to be checked for installation. In addition, most of the stored equipment was long out of warranty.
Manpower presented another challenge. Work started on the ninth floor, which meant all trades had to ramp up manpower and run procurement, vertical progress, and remediation of existing work simultaneously rather than progress gradually throughout the beginning of a project.

Despite some initial hurdles, the new project team jumped right in and found a way to complete the project three months early. “MMC Contractors did an exemplary job of getting all of the systems with both new and old equipment started up and running properly,” said Brian Schmidt, senior project manager at Martin-Harris Construction.

Developed as a timeshare, the Wyndham Desert Blue offers both luxury and space not seen at most hotels. Travelers can choose between a variety of room types, including studios and one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom vacation suites ranging from 470 to 2,400 square feet. The rooms are equipped with granite countertops and kitchens, as well as modern, clean interior finishes.