Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Transcript of interview with Anna Peltier by Claytee White and Stefani Evans, August 19, 2016

Document

Information

Date
2016-08-19
Description

Anna Peltier, owner and founder of ARIA Landscape Architecture in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a transplanted farm girl and a musician. She was born in 1978 on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in Escanaba, Michigan, where she and two brothers were the second generation to grow up on their parents’ (and formerly their grandparents’) farm. She studied music performance at Michigan State University but after discovering her love of landscape architecture early in her college career, she changed majors and earned her degree in landscape architecture. Moving to Las Vegas in 2007, she first worked for JW Zunino Landscape Architects. While with Zunino she did design work for Lorenzi Park and designed the award-winning Cactus Avenue Interchange. As ARIA’s principal designer, Anna designed Discovery Park in Pahrump, Nevada, and the USA Parkway between Lake Tahoe, California, and Reno, Nevada. In 2013, when Anna opened ARIA, she carefully chose the name of her business. First, for practical reasons she want

Digital ID
OH_02804_book
Physical Identifier
OH-02804
Details
Citation

Peltier, Anna Interview, 2016 August 19. OH-02804. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rights
This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use (https://www.library.unlv.edu/speccol/research_and_services/reproductions) or contact us at special.collections@unlv.edu
Standardized Rights Statement
Digital Provenance
Digitized materials: physical originals can be viewed in Special Collections and Archives reading room
Language

English

Geographic Coordinate
36.0397, -114.98194
Format
application/pdf

i AN INTERVIEW WITH ANNA PELTIER An Oral History Conducted by Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2016 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editor: Stefani Evans, Franklin Howard Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Frances Smith Interviewers: Stefani Evans, Claytee D. White Project Manager: Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of the UNLV University Libraries. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank the University for the support given that allowed an idea and the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Building Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iv PREFACE Anna Peltier, owner and founder of ARIA Landscape Architecture in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a transplanted farm girl and a musician. She was born in 1978 on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in Escanaba, Michigan, where she and two brothers were the second generation to grow up on their parents’ (and formerly their grandparents’) farm. She studied music performance at Michigan State University but after discovering her love of landscape architecture early in her college career, she changed majors and earned her degree in landscape architecture. Moving to Las Vegas in 2007, she first worked for JW Zunino Landscape Architects. While with Zunino she did design work for Lorenzi Park and designed the award-winning Cactus Avenue Interchange. As ARIA’s principal designer, Anna designed Discovery Park in Pahrump, Nevada, and the USA Parkway between Lake Tahoe, California, and Reno, Nevada. In 2013, when Anna opened ARIA, she carefully chose the name of her business. First, for practical reasons she wanted it to place high on any alphabetical list. Also, as a vocalist, she had always enjoyed singing Italian arias more than any other genre. Third, she wanted to honor her recently deceased vocal coach who had also been like a second v mother. Finally, she wanted to pay homage to her mentor at Michigan State, who always said, “landscape architecture is music frozen.” In this interview, Anna discusses technological shifts that have changed the profession even during her schooling and young career. She and her cohorts at Michigan State had learned to draw architectural renderings by hand had to learn the new computer-aided design software (CAD). Although Anna does all of her professional work in CAD, she retains a fondness for hand-drawn renderings. She talks of working in the profession as an employee, as a business owner, and in a cooperative joint venture. She speaks to her joy in creating the designs for Cactus Avenue; of learning the native Southwest plants, and of her special enjoyment in working with AIA Las Vegas's Committee on the Environment teaching local elementary school children about the field of landscape architecture and gardening with native plants.v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Anna Peltier August 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White Preface………………………………………………………………..………………………….iv Anna recalls her childhood and growing up on a farm; describes her siblings; attended college at Michigan State University; pursued a music degree and changed to landscape architecture; discusses the influences on the name of her landscape architecture firm; moved to Las Vegas; started her first job; describes the design work she did for Lorenzi Park, the Mob Museum, and the Neon Museum; explains how to design with plants and the effects they can have on buildings; describes how she needed to relearn landscape architecture with plants native to the American Southwest; designed Cactus Avenue interchange………………………………….1-13 Anna started her own firm; designed a discovery park in Pahrump, Nevada; was laid off from Zunino and went to work for Logan Simpson Design; started her own firm; discusses ARIA’s early projects; designed Discovery Park in Pahrump, Nevada and USA Parkway; describes how joint ventures work; discusses current projects in Las Vegas; describes working with a contractor; explains the landscape architecture market in Las Vegas; describes how technology has changed the profession; discusses her love of hand-drawn architecture drawings and the American Institute of Architecture’s Urban Sketchers group; shows some of her drawings; describes her vision for the future of design in Las Vegas and what she would do to the city; gave talks at Las Vegas elementary schools; explains the history of landscape architecture; discusses her professional future…………………………………………………………….14-29 Appendix………………………………………………………………………………….…30-32 1 Today is August 19, 2016. Claytee White and Stefani Evans are here at Anna Peltier's house and office. Anna, I probably mispronounced your name, but would you pronounce and spell your first and last name for the tape? Sure. You had it right. It's Anna, A-N-N-A. Peltier, P-E-L-T-I-E-R. Thank you. We'd like to start out with a really easy question. Please tell us about your early childhood; where you were born, when you were born. Tell us about your parents, any siblings, and your schooling. I grew up just outside of Escanaba, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It's the part that doesn't look like a hand. We lived on a farm that was my mother's parents' farm that my mother bought when they [her parents] retired. So I spent a lot of time in the woods and playing in the fields. There was a river behind us. We played a lot in the river. It was a great experience because you just could go anywhere you wanted to. There was no fear of anything, really, except for maybe skinning your knee. Had that farm been a homestead? Was it a homestead farm, do you know? It was, yes. It was two forty-acre parcels that were kitty-corner to each other; one of them was prime farmland and the other was essentially cedar swamp, but it had a lot of timber and stuff that we could take out of there. We grew all our own Christmas trees and everything in the back forty. So that was always fun. We'd go out with the tractor at Christmastime and pick out our Christmas tree. I don't talk to many people that had that sort of experience growing up, which I really liked. I lived right down the street from a strawberry farm and they also grew cabbage for deer season. So I started working there when I was twelve at the strawberry farm and then worked at a golf course, too, at the same time, doing dishes and bussing. So I started working really early. 2 My parents always had a really good work ethic, so I think I inherited that from them. I went to the community school there in the public school system. Escanaba was beautiful. It's right on the water, so we spent a lot of time on the beach growing up. Yes, that's pretty much it in a nutshell. I spent a lot of time in the woods. Now, did you have siblings? I did, yes. I have two brothers. I'm in the middle of two brothers. My older brother was eight and a half years older than I am. So when I was third grade, he left to go to college. My younger brother is two and a half years younger than I am. So we were thick as thieves for most of our childhood, spent a lot of time playing make believe and everything else. My older brother actually lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, and he's got two kids that are in high school now. My younger brother lived here when I first moved here in 2007, and I lived with him for a short period of time while I was getting my feet underneath me. He moved back to the Upper Peninsula because he's a UP [Upper Peninsula] boy and needed to be back in the woods. Got married and has a little girl about two years old now up in Escanaba. Is he on the farm? He's not on the farm. My parents did give them five acres of their property for their wedding to build a house on. So that's probably going to be a little while down the road. He has his own company as well. He's a contractor, does renovations for homeowners. There's a lot of really old houses in Escanaba area, so it's always an adventure when he pulls down the drywall to find out what's behind there. Yes, so he's busy. Actually, both of my siblings own their own companies. So I don't know what was in the water up there, but my whole family are entrepreneurs. So where did you go to college? I went to Michigan State University. I originally moved to Michigan State in Lansing, Michigan, 3 to go to school for music. I started with piano lessons and voice lessons when I was eight years old and continued with that. I really wanted to take piano lessons; that was what I really, really wanted to do, and I begged and begged and begged and begged and begged. Then, when my parents put me into piano lessons, they thought, you should go into voice lessons, too, at the same time, because I was very vocal. I ended up liking that a lot better and spent a lot more time with that [voice] than the piano, so I ended up wanting to go to school for that. Then when I got to school for that and I talked to a lot of the other students who were in the music program, I found out that most of them, by the time they were done or close to done, hated music, and I couldn't live with that. I decided to change professions and started asking around and going to the different schools and seeing what was out there, because I didn't really know. I talked to the professor at the landscape architecture school, and he told me—his name is Paul—Paul told me, "This is going to be the coolest thing you've ever done. You're going to be so happy here. It's going to be exactly what you want." Then I went and talked to the undergraduate adviser, because that's who I was working with to change my major. I hadn't done very well in school while I was going for music because I was unhappy. I kind of ditched a lot, so my grades were not where they should have been. The undergraduate adviser had told me that it was a horrible idea; my grades weren't good enough; I was not smart enough to go into landscape architecture. That pretty much lit the fire under my butt to go, oh yeah, well, I can, too. So that's how that happened. That's a motivator. Yes. You can't tell me what I cannot do. So I got into the landscape architecture program. My grades were bad, so I didn't make the first round of cuts. There's about sixty students that were 4 applying for that school, and they only took twenty-four. So the first year I started I went back and retook all the classes that I had done poorly in and brought my grades back up so that I could hit the GPA that they were looking for; I got into the school the second year. So it just took me a little longer. But you were really motivated. Yes, yes. I am pretty motivated. CLAYTEE: And did it pan out what he said; that you were just going to love landscape architecture? Yes, yes. He was correct. Actually, I just recently reached out to him. I'm going back to Lansing in September for the first time since I graduated. I reached out to him and we're going to meet for lunch, because I want to be able to tell him how huge of an influence he had in my life; I don't think he knows. Oftentimes they don't. No. So what a great thing that you're going to tell him. Yes. Actually part of—my company's name, ARIA Landscape Architecture comes from two different kind of influences—well, three. One, the rational, very...I don't know, the word I wanted to use should start with an "A." So I would be at the top of— Alphabetical? —at the top of everybody's list. But I used to sing Italian arias and that was my favorite form of song to sing. So that had a lot to do with it. And my vocal teacher, Mary St. Pierre, had recently passed away when I started my company. So it was kind of like a nod to her. She was kind of my second mom. She was a huge influence in my life. Then Paul, he used to always tell us that 5 “landscape architecture is music frozen.” It just struck such a cord with me because of my background. So it's also kind of a nod to Paul in saying thank you for showing me this music. Oh, that's lovely. So you have to tell him why you named your company like you did. Oh, yes, I most certainly will, yes. I'm really looking forward to meeting up with him again. So you graduated in landscape architecture from Michigan State? Yes, from Michigan State University. What brought you here? I needed to start paying back my student loans. I put myself through college, and most of it was student loans and a little bit of grants here and there. So as soon as I graduated, it was like, well, the clock is ticking, so I've got to get a job somewhere. I really wanted to go to the Pacific Northwest. I put in a ton of applications up there, but so did everybody else on the planet. So I had gotten a job offer at a firm here and my brothers were here. So it was like, well, I know people; that's a bonus, and I need to start working. I never thought I'd be in Las Vegas. In fact, somebody had actually asked—one of the other students that I went to school with had asked me at one point, "Would you ever move to Las Vegas?" Because she knew my brothers were here. And I said, "Oh, no way. That city is just too...eck. I was a farm girl, a woodsy girl; not my cup of tea; no thank you. She had always asked me if I would ever think about starting my own company: "Oh, no, not a chance." Strike two. So ten years later... Yes, I should probably reach out to her, too, while I'm back. You might want to correct those two statements. So tell me about that first job. Which company was it? It was J. W. Zunino & Associates. I don't know that we should really talk about that, because it 6 wasn't a great experience. I don't want to badmouth anybody. What kind of projects did you do there that you feel really good about? Oh, we worked on everything there. That was the one good thing. It was a small firm. So we were thrown into everything. I had some programs, computer programs under my belt that my coworkers didn't. So I was stuck doing a lot of stuff all the time, and I always wanted more and more responsibility. So they piled more and more responsibility on me. So I learned a lot there. I would ask to help with stuff that wasn't typical of the level of employee that I was, like putting together RFPs [requests for proposals], and doing proposals, and stuff like that. It was not exactly my... Great training. Exactly. But now, now that I have my own firm, I'm like, thank goodness that I did all of that because I would have been lost if I would have just skated. So the projects that I liked the most—well, I liked most of the projects. That firm has been here forever. So they were doing everything when I started there. I worked on the Phase Two of Lorenzi Park; did a lot of the work at Lorenzi Park. There is a memorial garden there that I worked on with a sensory garden that I designed. I helped to design how the lake was going to function, and the shape of it, and how we were trying to separate it back into the two lakes that it was historically. That was a real cool project, because some of the people in that neighborhood had been there for so long. And one of the days that I was out there on a site visit, when we were first starting the project I was just going through and doing our site reconnaissance work and our site analysis work, this gentleman saw me doing that. He lives across the street and [he] came over. He had been living there in that neighborhood forever. His parents lived across the street from Lorenzi Park when he was growing up. 7 Perazzo. Perazzo? Yes, Perazzo. He actually came and told me that... There was a big stump next to where I was standing at the time and he said that that tree had been a hanging tree at some point. I was just floored, because I in all my research had not found anything— I could not find anything like that. We couldn't put that in any of our signage for the park because, well, I couldn't back it up. It was an interesting piece of history, but without that backup I couldn't include it. There were a lot of stories that came out of that park. Supposedly, there's two islands on the pond. One of the stories that I had heard, there was a shack or a clubhouse on one, and there was a long wooden bridge going from the mainland to this little pond shack. That was so they could go in there and illegally gamble and illegally drink. And there was supposed to be like a little hatch underneath the table, so if they heard the cops coming across that wooden bridge, they could stash their stuff and just pretend they were hanging out having a chat. What a great story. But you couldn't use it? Couldn't find any of the backup on that either, which was unfortunate. Oh, my gosh. But I love the alarm system. Yes, old-school alarm system. That's one of my favorite parts of working on the projects in this city or any of the cities is there's all these—doing the research and the background on some of these things, you just find out all these cool little stories. As a historian you are probably well aware of how cool those little snippets can be. Well, it seems like you were doing oral history. You were taking oral histories in a way 8 from local people. Maybe a little bit, yes. So what other projects besides Lorenzi? Yes, so Lorenzi Park was a good one. I worked on the Mob Museum, which was really fun. There's not a whole lot of landscape out there, but we did get to go into the old Post Office before they did the renovations in there, and we got to do tours through the courthouses. There's actually a story that came out of that one, too. Supposedly it's haunted because one of the...I can't remember if it was a judge or a prosecutor who had done a lot of the mob trials had a big price tag on his head and couldn't handle the stress and hung himself in his chambers. So the story is that the place is haunted. When we were in there before the renovations happened, I would have believed it because it was a little scary in there in some of the rooms. Did you go in that particular office? No, I did not. We did go into the courtroom area. That's all now renovated and it's really pretty. And the basement and they had all the old Post Office boxes down there. It was really interesting. I worked on the Neon Museum. That was really cool because we got to check out when they brought over the La Concha shell. That was quite the feat to bring that over and then retrofit it to house the Welcome Center. That was really fun. I worked with the curator there, Danielle [Kelly]. She took me through the old area, where they were housing all the stuff before they build the Boneyard and she gave me a story of all of these different neon signs. One of them was like this turban, and it was all burnt out because a homeless guy was living in there and had his little fire, and it actually caught this thing on fire. So that was one they couldn't use for the Neon Museum because it had gotten burnt out from the inside. 9 So can you explain the work that you do on a project like the Mob Museum, or the Neon Museum? I can kind of picture it for Lorenzi Park. Yes. So for those two, they're both very small landscapes, but they still require some landscaping for the project. So with both of those we were working with—with the Mob Museum we were working with SHPO [State Historic Preservation Office] for the historical aspects of it. For the Neon Museum there was a stakeholder group that was very interested in that as well. So we usually start out talking with the stakeholders and the clients and finding out what they want for it, and the feel of the landscape for it, and work with the building itself; what's going to highlight the building; make sure we're not covering up windows, and designing it so that it has a very nice pedestrian view when you're standing in front of it or when you're driving down the street. So designing where the plant material goes, if there's any aesthetic rock, the kind of patterning, the irrigation system. That's pretty much it on those little projects because there's not a lot of space. So with plant material how do you say, “You're welcome; come inside?” Well, there is the feel of the plant material, so the texture of the shrubs or the trees. Different design techniques have different purposes, like we were just talking about a project at this HOA [Homeowners Association] that I'm doing; the traffic is pretty fast through this neighborhood and they want it to slow down. So as a landscape architect what we can suggest is columnar items along the roadway; [those] will slow down traffic. I'm not entirely sure why it does, but there's a lot of research that it does. Also, "road diets," where you're making them narrower. You get the wide streets, people just fly through them. But if you narrow that [street] down, and, I think, part of that vertical feel on the sides also makes it feel a little narrower, and it just kind of makes people want to slow down. Yes, plant material can do some funny stuff. You can also use it to channel breezes into your building or to block sun exposure to reduce your HVAC [heating, 10 ventilation, and air conditioning] needs. Green roofs on a project can help insulate. So there are a lot of little tricks that you learn over the years that can make it more aesthetically pleasing, but also have more personality in the space. So to make it more welcoming, you could pick out colors that felt very welcoming. There are different scents and different plants. Some smell excellent, some not so much. So you may not want to use those. If it's somewhere we don't want people to go—if it's a wall that we're afraid might get tagged—we might put some real spiky stuff in front of it so it makes a barrier to get to that space. If you want to welcome them, then you wouldn't use that type of material; you'd use the fluffier, more lush-looking stuff that maybe has a nice smell, or a lot of blues, making it feel very calming. Oh, interesting. So in terms of plant material, you studied up in the Upper Peninsula? I studied in Michigan. Then you came to Las Vegas. Was that a big jolt for you? Oh, huge. I mean, besides culturally, in terms of professionally? I had to relearn all my plant material when I moved here. Then, when I started my own company, we did a little bit of work in Northern Nevada and some of the plant palette that I learned in Michigan I got to pull from again, because of the higher elevations; it would work. But down here, the first six months I was here I spent a lot of time just learning what would grow here and what worked well and what didn't. The city isn't that old, so people are still learning what does well here and what doesn't. For example, the ash trees, you see them everywhere around here. They did great, and people were putting them everywhere. Then come to find out that about twenty years in—which, you don't know this until twenty years down the road—they just start to 11 decline. They don't know why. But now they're having to replace all these ash trees. It took twenty years for them to figure that out. But Las Vegas isn't that old, so we're still learning. Now, that's fascinating. So Mob Museum, Neon Museum, Lorenzi Park. So you were still at Zunino? Yes, yes. I also did the Cactus Avenue Interchange when I was there. Oh, tell us about that. I love that. That was a really fun project. It was more of an art project than anything. There's no plant material on that project at all. Yes, not a single one. You're right. Not a single one. There is only the metal and stone plant material that I designed. I've got goose bumps, because I could have sworn there were plants; but the landscape architect who designed it ought to know. Yes. So that was really fun. We were working with NDOT [Nevada Department of Transportation] and we had the stakeholder group for the neighborhoods that lived around that area and that Cactus Avenue would be servicing, and they all had their own idea of what should be in there. So it was a little bit of give and take and trying to make everybody happy when you can't really make everybody happy. I think that's one of our most successful overpasses. Oh, thank you. Thank you. It was so much fun. We went through a couple of different concepts for that project. Our stakeholder group wanted to stick with cactus because it was called Cactus. "Let's make it cactus." Okay. Then we gave them a couple of different concepts of "cactus." So we had an artistic interpretation concept where I was pulling influence from Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali and creating the sculptural items with nods to those artists. There was one that was 12 a very abstract version of cactus, and then the literal version of cactus, which, of course, the stakeholder group went with. But it did turn out very nice. Some of the elements that I got to design in that was all the...There are several different versions of the form liners that the concrete gets formed with. So there was one piece that has... There are the cactus spikes and then there's a flower piece. We only have a certain budget. So if you're going to do these form liners, you want them to be able to be reused over and over again by turning them or something like that. So that whole design was created with three form liners that you could turn any different direction and the spikes would still match up, depending on if you're going this way or this way. Then on the underpass there were huge form liner panels that created a backdrop of the desert with the mountains and some background cactus plant material, and then we used these large metal sculpture pieces to do the foreground cactus material. Then the overpass has the huge flowers and the huge fruit from the prickly pear. Then they actually—I was really surprised—NDOT actually let me put the spikes coming out of the upper-pass. So next time you go, look and there's huge spikes coming out over the overpass. I thought we were going to get that taken out of the design, but they let us run with it. So that was really exciting. Then for the ground plane leading up to it, we did some patterning with the rock mulch and I designed two different gabion sculptures, which is the metal rebar with the river rock inside. One looks like a barrel cactus and on the top of it are the fruit of the barrel cactus. So we used the yellow glass in those so that when the sun hit it, it would kind of light up a little bit. Then the prickly pear, large, large gabion sculptures, have the red fruit with the glass. That was a lot of fun designing all of that. It was pretty crazy. So you designed the sculptures. Who did the actual metal work? I don't know, because I was actually laid off when the project was at about 95 percent 13 completion. So I didn't get to participate in any of the fabrication, which was a huge bummer. But the engineer who we were actually subbing underneath, they knew how passionate I was about it. So I would get E-mails from them, "Hey, they're starting to work on this; here you go; check out how it's going." I had no say in it at that point. So it was like, oh, the relief isn't quite enough on that, but I have no say; I don't even work there anymore. But I still got to see the process a little bit. Then they invited me to the grand opening when it did, which was really nice of them. Well, it is beautiful. When I drive into the city on I-15, I just think, boy, we got that right. It's lovely. I think it says a lot. It's Las Vegas. It had to be a little bit showy, at least that was my interpretation. It had to be a little bit showy. Some of the other ones are a little bit muted. But this is Las Vegas. Let's make it showy. I agree. I like that attitude. Then you started your own practice. I did. Tell us about that. Let's see. In 2012—no—2011 I was laid off from Zunino. I think a large portion of the landscape architects in this town left and the architects as well. A lot of them just left. They went to Texas. There was still a lot of work in Texas and other places. Because of economic reasons? Exactly. It was rough. Even before I got laid off, we didn't have a whole lot going on. So it was a lot of twiddling thumbs, filling staplers, just trying to keep busy. Then they finally ended up letting a couple of us go, and I was in that cut. 14 I got hired right after that; like two weeks it felt like, I think. I had just filed for unemployment and, boom, a company called out of Tempe, Arizona. They wanted to start a Las Vegas firm and needed somebody to help run it. So I started working for them. That was Logan Simpson Design out of Tempe. They are a national firm. They have offices in Utah and Arizona and Colorado. No longer in Las Vegas or in Nevada because they were only here for about eight months and decided that the economy had not picked up as much as they thought it was picking it up in other places. It never touched Colorado. So their Colorado office that they opened at the same time as their Las Vegas office was booming. Their Arizona office was picking back up. But Las Vegas was still stagnant. So I ended up going out to the Colorado office and helping them at that office as well and then coming back and got laid off. I worked for them for about eight months. After that layoff then I was like, all right, enough. So I was like, well, I've got two choices. My fiancé did not want to leave. He really likes Las Vegas. His family is here. I didn't think that a long-distance relationship was going to work very well. I just know myself. And so it was either I call it quits on that and leave the state and try to find a job somewhere else because there was nobody here hiring, or I'd just start my own thing and see if that works out; and if it doesn't, maybe by the time that falls on its face, the economy will pick back up and I can find work with somebody else. Luckily, ARIA took off pretty well. So in 2013 is when I started ARIA. About six months after that Logan Simpson called me back up and said, "Hey, we still want to work in Nevada." But they couldn’t because of the bidder preference law without having a principal living in the state of Nevada. "Do you want to do a joint venture, so that you can go after big stuff and we can go after Nevada stuff?" And I said, "Yes." 15 So that was probably one of the smartest things that I've done for my company because I would have not had the experience that I had with them and their ability to get the larger projects that I just couldn't get on my own. And so with them, after we did the joint venture with them, they had gotten a call from the water utility in Pahrump, Nevada. There was a defunct golf course that they had gained ownership of, because it was just derelict and it was becoming a health issue. But the water utility used the ponds at the golf course as their recharge ponds for their effluent, which is waste water treated to a very high standard, but still they have to put it somewhere. So they gained the property so they could still function as the water utility, and [they] decided to turn it into a park. So they had called Logan Simpson to do a master plan for this Discovery Park in Pahrump. So that was the first project that we worked on as the joint venture. We finished that in February of this year. At the end of last year they got a call about a design-build roadway project for NDOT in Northern Nevada that they wanted to work on. So we did that project as well, and that one is just finishing up now. That was our first really big project as ARIA. So the road build is where? It's the USA Parkway. It's connecting the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, which is growing hugely because of all the—like the Tesla Gigafactory is going up there, and all these huge, huge developments are there. Then south of that—coming off of the I-80 to the North