Design firms in the Mountain States are feeling optimistic about the project opportunities forecast for the coming months, but they also are wary about what the future may bring given threats of rising interest rates that could cause market instability.

This year’s rankings show a jump in revenue across the seven-state region, with many firms exceeding pre-pandemic levels. The average revenue in 2019 was just under $20 million; it’s more than $24 million today.

The top 10 Intermountain firms (Utah, Idaho and Montana) and the top 10 firms in Colorado, Wyoming and the Dakotas reported just under a combined $1.39 billion in revenue in 2022, an increase of $268 million from last year.

Helping to account for that growth is an increase in facilities related to transportation, workplace and multifamily, says John Yonushewski, senior principal at Stantec. The firm’s Denver office, ranked fourth on this year’s list, broke ground in 2022 on the $531-million Gross Reservoir Expansion project in Boulder County, Colo. “The ground up office market is poor, but we are still seeing demand for corporate interiors and science and technology office buildings,” Yonushewski says.

Cushing Terrell, ranked No. 9 in the Intermountain area, also saw growth in multifamily and affordable housing, as well as in the federal, state and local government realms, says CEO Greg Matthews. While optimistic, Matthews says they are “closely monitoring the impact inflation and higher interest rates may have on the industry in the near term and into the future.”

“We are concerned in the short term that office vacancies coupled with lack of low-cost capital will impact project starts,” Yonushewski adds. “Long term we are very optimistic about the multifamily market given the continuing housing shortage specific to affordable and workforce housing. Also, to capitalize on the weak office market, we see tremendous opportunity in office tower conversions to mixed-use multifamily,” he adds.

On the following pages, the region’s design firms have been ranked by their 2022 revenue. They have also reported their most active project sectors and their largest projects to start last year.