Construction firms in the mountain states are plenty busy. A surge of people moving to the region—especially Colorado, Utah and Idaho—has created a “solid funnel of multifamily housing projects,” says Jeff Palmer, executive vice president at Layton Construction.

“The mountain states are still in a growth mode,” he adds, noting that investment in higher education, health care, distribution and local government facilities continues at a sustained pace.

“PCL is seeing a lot of opportunity within water infrastructure to provide clean water to states like Colorado with rapidly growing populations,” says Ryan Schmidt, district manager for PCL Construction’s Denver district.

It’s also drawing tourism-related projects: PCL has secured several hospitality projects within the Colorado mountains, including Aspen and Keystone, and contracts at Denver International Airport, including baggage handling system modernization and Concourse B expansion work for United Airlines. The $184-million Kindred Resort project is the first new major development in Keystone in the past 20 years.

But while the project pipeline is flowing, the fact that inflation grew this past year at an unprecedented rate means that essential materials and skilled labor are more expensive, and ongoing supply chain shortages continue to make procurement very challenging.

“We meet frequently with other industry leaders to discuss potential supply chain disruptions, cost escalations and economic concerns allowing us to stay in front of any potential problems before they arise,” Palmer says. “Though we’ve noticed a stabilization in the inflation rate in the past several months, long lead times for electrical gear, generators and some metal panels persist.”

“On many of our projects, we have had to buy materials ahead of time, knowing there will be associated storage costs,” Schmidt says. “However, with these storage costs comes a level of certainty in material procurement, which makes it worth it in the long run, especially for our clients.”