USA Update

Posted by Dave Farley
July 22nd, 2010

A few comments, meanderings and observations over the last few weeks that might be of interest to the industry.

BIG Sky Montana
I finally had the time to get down to Bozeman and Big Sky Montana located in the South west corner of the State. Outside of the impressive beauty of the region there were a number of opportunities that I uncovered that are worth discussion.

This region of the state is popular for two reasons, education and tourism. Bozeman is home to Montana State University and Big Sky is a world class ski, golf and recreational destination. It is also the home of the Yellowstone Club, the private, members only resort for the ultra wealthy.  This region was fairly busy with a number of high profile residential and commercial construction projects either underway or in the planning stage.  A general overview of these projects follows.

Gallatan Airport Expansion
This $6 million expansion to the main airport in the region features an extensive use of Glulam structural beams and finished wood products. Currently the project is approximately 30% finished with an expected completion date of spring 2011. Opportunities include interior finished products out of Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar.

Architect: Prugh and Lenon

General Contractor: Martel Construction

Golf Clubhouse and Pro Shop at “The Reserve at Moonlight Basin”

This project is expected to resume again in the spring of 2011 after being stopped in 2008 after the market crash. The major lender on the project was Lehman Brothers. The private course is spectacular and by looking at the photo supplied, it looks as if the clubhouse will be impressive as well. The foundation and slab has been poured and some of the metal structure was completed before the project came to a halt.

Opportunities include; solid heavy timber and glulam, interior and exterior architectural millwork products including doors, windows, flooring and exterior siding.

Key contacts on the project are:

Locati Architecture: (principle, Gerry Locati, who is also a member of the private club.)

Structural Engineer: Eclipse Engineering

General Contractor: Langlas Construction

Big Sky and Yellowstone club
In Yellowstone Club and Big Sky, there are a few projects that are either in the planning or design stage.

Big Sky is planning to build an Ice Arena in the next year according to a contact familiar with the town. It was also discussed in the local paper. I assume that in keeping with the architecture of the region, it will feature an extensive use of solid wood and Glulam in the design of the building.

In Yellowstone Lodge, the private gated community, Locati Architects are working on a number of high end residential developments as well as two high end town home projects. The town home projects are unique in that one is a 20 unit timber frame and heavy timber design and the other is a 40 unit Log and timber design. These projects are at the bid stage and the demonstration units expected to be built shortly. I had a quick review of the designs and they are similar in design to the Whistler projects, At Natures Door and Talus Wood.

Listed below are key architects and builders working in the Big Sky region.

Locati Architects

Teton Heritage Builders

Beartooth Builders

The main building product distributors in the Bozeman and Big Sky region are:

Kenyon Noble Lumber

Simkins Hallin

These two firms sell and service the majority of builders and developers in the Big Sky market. Both firms provide structural and finished building materials including dimension lumber through interior finished products at their 5 locations in the region.

As always if you want to discuss this or other opportunities please give me a call or contact me at

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