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Transcript of interview with Chuck Degarmo by Stefani Evans, January 13, 2017

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2017-01-13
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Southern California native and lifetime resident, landscape architect Chuck Degarmo evokes the Golden State's iconic theme park as he reflects on forty years in the landscape industry and the ways his work has shaped the way Southern Nevada looks and works. It is fitting he would do so. Degarmo forged his professional ties to Las Vegas in 1993, during the heyday of the Las Vegas Strip's "family-friendly" era, when Kirk Kerkorian's MGM Grand Hotel and Casino hired Degarmo's firm, Coast Landscape Construction, to design and landscape their planned 33-acre MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park. In this interview, Degarmo outlines his work history, which draws upon the combined skills of a salesman, an artisan, a problem-solver, and an entrepreneur. Having owned his own firms and worked for industry giants Valley Crest Companies and BrightView Landscape Development, he discusses an array of topics from running union and non-union crews; Tony Marnell and design-build projects; importing plant material into Nevada; the Neon Museum and Boneyard; The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and Symphony Park; Steve Wynn, the mountain at Wynn Las Vegas, and Lifescapes International; the Lucky Dragon; Cosmopolitan, CityCenter, and the Vdara "death ray", and the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act (SNPLMA). Throughout, Degarmo articulates his work through the lens of a lifetime Southern Californian whose talent has contributed much to the Southern Nevada landscape.

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Degarmo, Chuck Interview, 2017 January 13. OH-02938. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

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i AN INTERVIEW WITH CHUCK DEGARMO An Oral History Conducted by Stefani Evans 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 Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Frances Smith Interviewers: Stefani Evans and 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 "The Strip is . . . Disneyland. Nobody lives at Disneyland, but they spend a lot of time there." Southern California native and lifetime resident, landscape architect Chuck Degarmo evokes the Golden State's iconic theme park as he reflects on forty years in the landscape industry and the ways his work has shaped the way Southern Nevada looks and works. It is fitting he would do so. Degarmo forged his professional ties to Las Vegas in 1993, during the heyday of the Las Vegas Strip's "family-friendly" era, when Kirk Kerkorian's MGM Grand Hotel and Casino hired Degarmo's firm, Coast Landscape Construction, to design and landscape their planned 33-acre MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park. In this interview, Degarmo outlines his work history, which draws upon the combined skills of a salesman, an artisan, a problem-solver, and an entrepreneur. Having owned his own firms and worked for industry giants Valley Crest Companies and BrightView Landscape Development, he discusses an array of topics from running union and non-union crews; Tony Marnell and design-build projects; importing plant material into Nevada; the Neon Museum and Boneyard; The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and Symphony Park; Steve Wynn, the mountain at Wynn v Las Vegas, and Lifescapes International; the Lucky Dragon; Cosmopolitan, CityCenter, and the Vdara "death ray", and the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act (SNPLMA). Throughout, Degarmo articulates his work through the lens of a lifetime Southern Californian whose talent has contributed much to the Southern Nevada landscape. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Chuck Degarmo January 13, 2017 in Santa Ana, California Conducted by Stefani Evans Preface………………………………………………………………………………..…………..iv Childhood in Southern California; Bachelor of Science degree 1977 in Ornamental Horticulture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, California, with concentration in Landscape Construction. Began career at ValleyCrest Companies, LLC, in 1977; about 1979 transferred to ValleyCrest's Western Landscape Construction in Orange County; 1983 formed Landform Industries in Orange, California, a non-union landscape construction company, and 1984 formed Coast Landscape Construction. After nine years sold Coast Landscape ca. 1993 to ValleyCrest and returned to ValleyCrest for 11 years. In 2004 became program manager at Griffin Structures, Inc., for three years; went with Park West Landscape, 2007–2008, as director of sales and marketing, and was independent consultant and principal with CWD Group, Inc., before returning to ValleyCrest in 2009 as vice president national business development; in 2014, ValleyCrest merged and became part of BrightView Landscape Development, and in 2016 became vice president of national business development. Ornamental horticulture and life cycles of humans and buildings. Coast Landscape Construction to Las Vegas 1993, MGM Grand theme park. Griffin Structures and 1994 SNPLMA park and trails program for City of Las Vegas; Neon Museum; City of Henderson. Evolution of Las Vegas as community; the Las Vegas Strip as Disneyland ……………..…. 1–10 Building resurgance on Las Vegas Strip beginning with The Mirage; landscaping all Wynn hotels, much of Stations Casinos, Las Vegas Strip beautification, and others; explains process for securing jobs; working with Lifescapes International, Inc.; corralling resources in labor and materiel to bring jobs in on time; Summerlin; ValleyCrest acquisition of HRP LandDesign and design build; Lucky Dragon as design-build project; Tony Marnell and design-build projects ……….…. 11–19 The Neon Museum and Boneyard; The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and Symphony Park; MGM Grand Hotel and Theme Park and Art Williams; Luxor; Steve Wynn and Lifescapes International; Kirk Kerkorian………………………………………………………………. 19–36 Importing plant material into Nevada; Lucky Dragon and ALON; Cosmopolitan and CityCenter; the mountain at Wynn Las Vegas; the "death ray" at Vdara; Nevada's north-south divide; Contractors' Licensing Board, licensing and public works projects; working with unions, Laborers Union Local 872, Circus Circus Enterprises, Marnell Companies………………….………. 36–59 vii viii 1 Good morning. It is January 13th, 2017. I am Stefani Evans, and I am in Irvine [Santa Ana], California, with Chuck Degarmo. Chuck, I'm going to ask you to please spell your first and last names for the tape, please. My first name is spelled C-H-U-C-K, and my last name is spelled D-E-G-A-R-M-O. That's a capital G, or no? Capital D and—well, it varies and you know that, but currently I don't capitalize the G. Why don't we begin by you telling us where you grew up, what your childhood was like, what kind of jobs you had as a kid, and what you liked to do as a kid? So I was born in 1954 in Santa Monica[, California]. We lived near Santa Monica, near Palms, in Mar Vista. We moved from Mar Vista when I was six to Pacific Palisades, and I grew up there through high school. After I graduated from high school, my parents bought some property in Malibu and built a house there. Then I left for college at that point at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and lived there. As a kid growing up, Mar Vista was a typical neighborhood, postwar [tract] housing. We were a rough-and-tumble group down there; we got into rock fights and played army and had a great time. I have a twin sister whose name is Claudia, and I have an older sister whose name is Denise. Denise is four years older, and I'm the youngest; I was born four minutes apart from my sister. Moving from Mar Vista to Pacific Palisades, [Pacific Palisades was], I guess, upper-middle-class socioeconomically and also an upper-class part of town. I went to elementary school at Marquez Elementary, went to junior high school at Paul Revere Junior High, which is now called middle school, and then finished up at Palisades High School before going to Cal Poly. The jobs I had pretty much led to my career; they were mostly working for retail 2 nurseries, working for a wholesale nursery, and working for a landscape company. That was through high school. When I found that you could major in something like that in college, it made picking Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo really easy, because they have a major in landscape architecture and a major in ornamental horticulture. I graduated with a degree in ornamental horticulture with an emphasis in landscape design and then went to work for the company that I work for today. At the time it was known as ValleyCrest. So in my professional career post-college, I started at ValleyCrest and worked there two years. I started with ValleyCrest in 1977, married my wife, Roxanne, in 1978, and left ValleyCrest in 1979 to start a home building venture with my wife's brother and her father. We worked in the Palm Springs–Palm Desert–Hesperia area and built single-family homes there. This was during the [U.S. President Jimmy] Carter years [1977–1981], and that lasted until the interest rates got so high that we couldn't borrow money for construction loans anymore. So I went back to work for ValleyCrest at that time. I got a job working for the vice president of operations doing special projects, which was great. I stayed with him for a couple of years and then transferred into a new company, part of the ValleyCrest group, called Western Landscape Construction. That company is still in Las Vegas today. Western Landscape was the nonunion side of the ValleyCrest Company, which was a union contractor. My job was sales. That's how I started in sales: working for Western Landscape Construction. That job moved me from Brentwood, where my wife and I were living at the time. We had to move to Orange County for that job. So we moved to Laguna Beach, where I still live today. So that was many, many years ago. That was thirty-five years ago. I stayed with Western Landscape until I eventually left again. I started a competitor company called Landform Industries with another contractor in Orange County who became my 3 partner. I stayed with that until he actually passed away during the course of running those businesses. It became very difficult to understand how the assets were going to be divided and so forth, so at that time I wrapped up my engagement there. I left Landform and started my own company with no partners called Coast Landscape Construction and continued working throughout Orange County and Riverside and San Bernardino counties. That company we ran for nine years until the recession in the early [nineteen] nineties and then ended up selling our assets to ValleyCrest. I went back to work for ValleyCrest at that time running the Orange County operation for ValleyCrest Landscape Development. So that lasted about eleven years at ValleyCrest and then I left ValleyCrest again to go to work with a company called Griffin Structures as a program manager. I worked all over the world with them for a few years, and then the Great Recession hit at that point and I went back to ValleyCrest again. So I've had four tours of duty at ValleyCrest. I've always stayed in the same basic profession, which is in development and construction. Which brings us to today. ValleyCrest was acquired by a large private equity called KKR and Company in 2014. They merged us together with our biggest competitor in the country, a company called the Brickman Group. The new company became BrightView and that began July first, 2014. So today we're still BrightView, and in my role today I'm the vice president of national business development for BrightView Landscape Development. My job takes me all over the country, including Las Vegas, and I get to see and be a part of some of the most beautiful places on Earth as a result of that. Does that cover everything we need to cover? Yes. So let's back up. So these jobs that you had as a kid, what attracted you to these kinds 4 of jobs? Well, a summer job. As a sixteen-year-old kid, you need a job. I had a friend that worked at a garden supply in Pacific Palisades and he said, "Hey, they need someone to water plants here." And I thought, that sounds easy. So I started work with them. It turned out that I really enjoyed learning about plants and graduated soon from just watering them to working with customers, which was sort of a predictor because I liked working with people, I liked selling and I liked helping people figure out what they need in their garden and whatnot. So that turned out to be predictive about the job I would eventually do someday. I didn't know it at the time. But working with people was always something that I loved to do. Again, I worked at that summer job throughout high school, and when it came time to pick a college, going back, I found that you could major in landscape at a college. So because I had a friend at that time who was an engineering major at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, I went to visit him and learned about their landscape program and then one thing led to another and I just stayed with it. Turns out I really liked it. So what is ornamental horticulture? Well, it's the science and study of ornamental plants as opposed to agricultural crops, like the things that you see in people's front yards—flowers, grass, shrubbery, trees. Things that are used for aesthetic plantings, those are considered ornamentals. Really it's about landscape architecture and then landscape construction and then the nursery and floral culture trade, because flower design and floriculture and flower growing is also part of ornamental horticulture. I'm making air quotes with my fingers. So when you put these two together, these two things that you majored in... We have a building and we have a sidewalk in front of it. You change the look of that with...? 5 Yes, we create the exterior environment. We create places that happen outside of buildings, so the gardens, the front of the building, and the edges around the edge of the property. Depending on whether it's a retail center or a hotel or a school or an office complex, the conditions that we work in and the requirements change. We adapt the landscape, we'll call it, based on the requirements of the client and the requirements of the site, whether it's highly aesthetic or whether we're creating places where people gather or places where people enter or places where people park, where they play, where they rest. A significant part of our business is working with cemeteries, so where people finally end up. So we have you where you're born, we have you where you live, and then we have you where you end up. So all those things that are beautiful because of the grounds and trees and the other things that occur. You may not notice, but they have an effect on you. That's the environment that we deal with here at BrightView. And do you use plants to muffle sound? Is that part of what you do as well? Sure. So one of the oldest axioms in architecture is the statement that form follows function. So what it looks like is decided after you figure out what it does. We use both the built environment and the planted environment to create an outside experience for people that we call a working landscape. We might be using tall hedges to mitigate an unsightly condition on the adjoining property or across the freeway. We might be building walls and planting in front of it to help mitigate sound from a freeway or an airport, for example, or a shooting range. We've had every condition you can imagine next door. But we also use the built environment in the form of walls and trellises and fountains and all kinds of things that you build as opposed to things that you plant to channel vehicular and pedestrian traffic, to create spaces where people can gather and feel comfortable doing that, to create opportunity like in an amphitheater to enclose the space and create a feeling of intimacy in what might otherwise be a larger space. At big hotel resort 6 properties we would get into water slides and pools and all kinds of things. We used to say, if you dream it we can build it. Now we dream it and we build it, but always working with our clients to address the needs that they have based on their business model, what they're trying to accomplish with the property. So let's go from that general theme to some of the specifics in Las Vegas. So your first project in Las Vegas—what brought you there? This was back in the early nineties when I owned and operated the company called Coast Landscape Construction. I got introduced to Scott Langsner, who worked for MGM at the time. Scott was a friend of my sister. I told him about our company, and he suggested that I may want to take a look at the theme park that they were planning to build out at the hotel that he was developing. I really didn't know anything about anything then; I just knew it was a big project. So he introduced me to his project director. It was Frank something; I can't remember. But he was old then. He must be gone by now. Anyway, we [Frank and I] hit it off, and I ended up submitting a proposal. We worked out a deal and we did the landscape installation and the irrigation system for the theme park at MGM Grand. That's what got me to Las Vegas the very first time, other than holiday vacations and whatnot. Most people will remember the MGM was a really challenging project. Most of the major resort casinos there are complex building projects that involve hundreds of subcontractors, and thousands of workers; the MGM was the biggest one ever built at the time. Like most of the big resort casinos—I didn't know this; I found this out as I got into the project—they're always behind schedule by the time they get to the landscaping work. We're at the end of the project. So I was out there running the job literally in my boots and a safety vest the last, gosh, three months. We were running three shifts, and we had all of our crews living in apartments on Koval [Lane], 7 right behind the resort. That neighborhood, if you know, it's not such a great neighborhood. We rented a bunch of apartments and had guys living there. I stayed out there, too. We worked day and night for the last three months to make sure that they opened on time, which they did. It [the theme park] was sort of successful; I think ultimately not so much because they took it out and turned it into something else. The family-friendly era was short. Right. It wasn't quite time for it. It's probably more [conducive to a theme park] now with really much more to do in Las Vegas than just gamble, and [with] high quality experiences of dining and entertainment and sports and all kinds of things to do there. It was just a little bit ahead of its time in those days. If I remember, they actually let people use it for free at first, and that was okay; then they started charging, and it was like, forget it, we're not paying for this. That was the case, yes. Yes, that was it. And it's too cold in the winter to go out in that area, too. So it was not a year-round activity. So that was your first [Las Vegas] project? So that was my first project. We completed that project. It took about a year, all in, to get that project done. I had two or three other projects that we also did in the Las Vegas area at that time. Because of the way the business was going and I was heading towards wrapping up at Coast Landscape and moving pack to ValleyCrest, I subbed out those projects to a local contractor and then just basically had nothing to do with them other than just shuffling paper. Then I went to ValleyCrest. I didn't return back to the Las Vegas market for several years. I went from Coast to ValleyCrest, then ValleyCrest to Griffin. Yes, so until about 2004. After '93 I was out of Vegas for about ten years. Then I came back. I left ValleyCrest around '94, 8 went to work for Griffin Structures, a program management firm, and we won a contract with the City of Las Vegas to manage the design and construction of a park and trails program that was being funded by an acronym, SNPLMA, which is the Southern Nevada … [Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act]. The management... Yes. They got funding from the sale of federal lands to developers. They got a piece of that. So all the cities—Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson—they had all this money for these park and trail projects and if they didn't spend it by a certain time, they lost the funding. So we got hired as program managers to oversee the design and oversee the construction for these park and trail projects. The first thing we had to do was to decide what projects we would include in our program because we had about a $20 million budget to work with. So the first thing we had to was analyze all the potential projects and then make a recommendation to the City on the ones we wanted to do. So we came up with a couple. One was a park area, but it was part of the urban trail, downtown Las Vegas urban trail, and it is the Neon Museum. Oh, wonderful. The parking around the Neon Museum. Then the trail to get from the City Hall to the museum, which is an urban trail that was part of our program as well. Then the third trail was out in the south end and I can't remember the name of it, but it was a connection between a couple of major development and park areas and it was across a wash. I'll have to look that up and get that back to you. It was a third trail. I was in Vegas every single week. So I was commuting once a week and I'd spend the night. So I'd spend two days a week in Las Vegas through that project. During that project the 9 Great Recession hit, and so we ended up not managing the construction; instead we completed the design, completed the bid packages, and then the City canceled our contract. So I came back from Vegas at that time. While that was going on, I was also working with the City of Henderson on some consulting work around problem solving for park projects that they were trying to get designed. We helped them value engineer the projects by working with their consultants and helping them out there. So that was ongoing as well and that ended about the same time. The recession kind of cut everything, just stopped everything everywhere in the country. The contracts we had going with Las Vegas were no different than that. Was the Henderson consulting also done with the SNPLMA funds? That was also SNPLMA funding, yes. While I was doing the Las Vegas work, I was also working in Long Beach for Boeing Development. I was working for a company called SunCal, a big master-plan community developer, on projects in California, and we were managing the development of a resort in Tuscany, Italy, a four-thousand-acre resort. So I was flying around quite a bit during that period, really being hardly ever home, and I had two kids at home at that time. So my commitment was that I would always be home by Thursday night no matter what happens. So Thursday, Friday, Saturday, I was there. My son played football; had to be there for football. I did a lot of homework assignments with them over the phone and through screen sharing when we could start to do that through the internet. So it was kind of a challenging period, but very exciting—no less exciting because of the involvement in Las Vegas. So that was Griffin. Then I went to work briefly for a company called Park West Landscape. I worked for them for eleven months. That was from, I want to say, 2007–2008. The role I had with Park 10 West—which is a company based here [in Orange County, California] but they also had an office in Las Vegas—I was the director of sales and marketing, and in that role I had to travel to all their offices. I was on a constant schedule traveling around. So I spent a lot of time in Las Vegas working with their team there on new contract acquisition. So I continued my weekly trip to Las Vegas at that point. That lasted about eleven months. They ended up downsizing significantly, and I went back to ValleyCrest. So 2009-2010, I came back to ValleyCrest in my current role, manager of national sales. I was recently promoted to vice president of national sales. I haven't spent much time in Las Vegas in my current role, but I do make periodic trips in the market. I'm not actively involved in any individual projects there. So I don't have anything really interesting to add. But what I have seen as a part of ValleyCrest and even when I'm away from ValleyCrest, working in that market over that period of more than twenty years, is seeing the change in the downtown, the change on the Strip, the development out west, and seeing how Las Vegas has evolved into a full-time community. Not the Strip; the Strip is kind of Disneyland. Nobody lives at Disneyland, but they spend a lot of time there. But you get up to Summerlin and you get out to North Las Vegas or you get out to Henderson, Green Valley and out at Lake Las Vegas and then Highlands and places like that and those are real people living there with real lives. The Strip is there and it's part of their life, but it doesn't define them the way it once did in Las Vegas. There was a time when you lived in Las Vegas, you were defined by the gambling. That's not the case today, at least it doesn't feel that way to me. One of the things I've always loved about the city, working there and traveling there, is that I didn't often meet people that were born in Las Vegas and grew up there. So I found it to be a very accepting place for people that weren't from there because almost everybody I met came 11 to Las Vegas because of a job or something else that brought them to town. So I've always thought it was a very accepting place. So that's kind of the... Kind of a place where people could reinvent themselves. Yes, yes, or bring their expertise. So this isn't meant to badmouth Las Vegas, but when I was working in Orange County as a contractor, there was a saying in construction and it went like this. This is early, so it's not the case today, but it was then. Contractors that couldn't make it in Orange County went out to Palm Springs, and contractors that couldn't make it in Palm Springs went to Las Vegas because you couldn't find good contractors. This was back in the early nineties. But with the buildup of the Strip and the major hotels and the complex building projects that have happened there over the last twenty years, now it's one of the places where you go to find experienced, highly experienced construction people. Projects that happen in that town are as complex as anywhere in the world. With this project we've been interviewing a lot of architects and the Strip architects, a lot of them teach at UNLV School of Architecture; they talk about the laboratory on the Strip. Of course, that all changed in 1989 with The Mirage. The buildings became much more complex. And they weren't ready for it; the contracting community was not ready for those types of projects at first. But they geared up quickly. Yes. Out-of-town contractors came from all over the country—mechanical, steel, curtain wall, concrete. ValleyCrest was already in the valley. We were the most experienced landscape company anywhere in the world, which made it easy for us to dominate the big union projects on the Strip because we were already up to that level of that expertise. 12 So what projects did ValleyCrest do? I can't give you a comprehensive list, but The Mirage. All the Wynn hotels—Bellagio, Mirage. We didn't do any of the Caesars work because that was one of our competitors that got all that. Lake Las Vegas, the Four Seasons out there. We did all the Station casinos, Green Valley Station I think it was. We've done a lot of the Station's work. We did all the landscaping on the Strip when that whole remodel got done, if you remember the upgrade on the Strip. But here is a list of just some significant projects: Aladdin Resort & Casino, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, CityCenter, The Cosmopolitan, Flamingo Hilton Resort, Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Strip, Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, The Mirage, Paris Las Vegas, MGM Hotel, Wynn Resort, Encore at Wynn Resort, The Ritz Carlton Lake Las Vegas, Green Valley Ranch, Turnberry Place Towers, The Springs Reserve, Lucky Dragon Hotel, Trump International Hotel & Tower, and Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino as well as freeway landscape projects, retail centers, government buildings, military bases, schools, etc. I've got some great photos, too, of all the hotels that we worked on. That would be excellent. So how do you get a job? All different ways. Let's say you're Steve Wynn. Yes, I'm Stefani Wynn. I've just built a hotel or I'm getting ready to build a hotel. I want it to be the most fabulous thing ever. I've built five hotels there, each one more fabulous than the last, and this is going to be the best one ever. You would typically call Lifescapes [International] for the landscape architecture, and you would call us for the installation. We'd get onboard. So that's how it works; they do the architecture and you do the installation? That's right. That's right. 13 So you work together. We complete each other, is what I like to say. As in, “You complete me?” Yes, exactly. The way we get our projects in the [Las Vegas] Valley is really mostly by word of mouth. Sometimes they're a competitive bid, depending on the structure of the deal, the way the developer has structured the deal. Even Steve Wynn has a big general contractor that builds all his hotels. The general contractors will typically identify at least three companies in every trade; landscaping is one of the trades. They'll ask the three companies to all submit proposals on the same set of drawings. Then they'll try to determine from the competitive bids received which firm has the best overall offer based on price, ability to perform, the experience that maybe they have had with you, and the team that you're proposing to put on that project. As I mentioned, the big resort casinos, they are serious-as-a-heart-attack projects, and they have to be done by a certain date because the hotels will sell a full calendar a year before the hotel is ready to open. So there is big money riding on that. And if they're late delivering that [opening], they're upsetting conventions and room sales and catering. It's major. So nobody misses those dates. And it doesn't matter that they make changes along the way; you still have to hit the date. That's part of the game? Right. So the owners know who the generals [general contractors] are that can get the work done, and the generals know who the subcontractors are that can get them to the finish line, and we're one of the companies in that market. We have another competitor; they're the one I mentioned earlier, a company called Park West, that I worked for briefly, who has some capability, because most of them came from ValleyCrest, honestly. They kind of learned here and then started their own business. We're the only company that literally has unlimited financial capability, unlimited 14 labor, unlimited equipment, unlimited bonding insurance. The general contractors that build those projects and the owners that want them built look at us as a risk partner to have on their team to guarantee that it will be done on time. You've been to the major hotels. You know how important the exterior is in those hotels. That mountain that was built at the Wynn—we didn't build the mountain, but we planted all of those giant trees that went up on that mountain. In fact, I've got some pictures I could show you today and I could send you those, with trees hanging from cranes and all sorts of cool stuff to have. That would be magnificent. Lifescapes was the landscape architect on all the Wynn projects that we worked on. I'm sure you've talked to Julie [Brinkerhoff-Jacobs]. We did. I'm sure they have photography they can share, too. I think Lifescapes was also the landscape architect on the Strip [beautification project]. Yes, they were. You remember the Strip, right? Yes. So we got hired on that project and it was a public works project. The funding came from multiple sources, from all the casinos, but the project was administered and contracted by the County, Clark County. So we won a competitive bid. We were the low bidder. We knew how we were going to execute that work; it had to be done within a certain amount of time and we had to demonstrate through our proposal how we planned to get that work done. Because The Strip is our [Clark County’s] life blood. Yes, that's the lifeline to everything. So we proposed performing the work all at night, no work 15 during the day. We felt that if we had the Strip at night after a certain time, the traffic was much lower and we could bring in big trucks and cranes and close lanes and do all the things we needed to do. I remember there was a big bonus if you finished early, so much a day for every day you got done early, and we decided we were going to be done. Not only were we going to be on time, we were going to be done early; not only early, but really early, because we were going to invest the money in overtime pay with our plan to be don