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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
I was surprised to learn recently that Utah is home to one of the largest steel fabricators in the western United States. The company is West Jordan-based SME Steel Contractors, S-M-E, which stands for Structural, Miscellaneous and Erection.
To get an idea of the size and scope of SME's work, consider the projects it's completed--many of which are on the Las Vegas strip. Among them are the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, the Stratosphere Tower and the Aladdin Hotel and Casino, which with its more than 28,000 tons of steel, was the largest steel project in the country in 2000. But Vegas isn't the only place SME has done work. SME fabricated and erected the steel structure at the Mighty Ducks' Arrowhead Pond stadium in Southern California and the San Jose Hockey Arena in California. It also completed structural work on the massive Pacific Bell Park where the San Francisco Giants play. And here in Utah, SME has completed steelwork on the Salt Palace and its expansion, the Micron plant in Lehi and the Gateway.
Structural steel is one of the first components of a building project, which makes producing it a challenge. The steel must be ordered, shipped, fabricated, delivered and erected on time to avoid costly delays for the subcontractors who follow.
In 2000, SME reported record revenue of $90 million. But in the company's 10 years of business, that kind of success hasn't come easily. Craig Moyes, SME's president and CEO, told me those early days were difficult. SME had purchased the assets of a bankrupt steel fabricator. For the first two years, the company lost money in an effort to turn things around. In 1994, SME moved operations to a 90,000-square-foot facility in West Jordan, and things finally began to improve. SME's attention to quality, price and speed has made it a favorite in the Las Vegas market and throughout the West.
Now, with expanded operations in Idaho, the company has contracted with Wal-Mart and Sam's Club to provide steel for half of the stores currently being built nationwide.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.