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Vail: Worker bees build luxury hive

Preston Utley/Vail DailyMark Reed has been with the Layton Construction Company for 15 years and is the superintendent for the Four Seasons construction site in Vail.
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VAIL, Colorado ” A concrete truck rumbles off the frontage road through the front gate.

“Here’s my next truck,” says Mark Reed, superintendent for Layton Construction.

The truck has arrived from Minturn, ready to feed more concrete to this hungry monster of a project. The wet concrete streams through tubes and is spit to the bottom of the cavernous Four Seasons site, aptly nicknamed “The Hole.”

The $200 million Four Seasons has already been under construction for more than a year, and the condo-hotel-“fractional” project is still a year away from completion. The Four Seasons is expected to be a four- or five-star hotel.

But, now, it’s a skeleton of concrete and pipes and steel rods that’s slowly rising back to street level. About 100 hard-hatted workers toil on site each day, doing work that includes plumbing, heating, electrical, dirt pushing and concrete pouring.

In the hot sun, Billy Moore supervises the crew of 10 that is trudging through the wet concrete in tall boots, pouring the concrete slab that will be the third floor.

A couple of workers hold the tube as others rake concrete. Two others operate a vibrating pole that helps the concrete settle the right way. Others maneuver instruments called screeds and Vibrastrikes. That day, the men will pour $100,000 worth of concrete.

“Everybody basically has an assignment,” says Moore, who lives in Utah but is staying in Eagle County while we works on the project. “Everybody works together to get it done a little quicker.”

A few yards away are the guys who might have the toughest job on the site. They’re called the rodbusters, and they place the steel bars, or “rebar,” that will reinforce concrete.

Angel Caballero and Heriberto Duran skillfully tie intersecting bars with wires, quickly moving across the steel grid that lies on the concrete.

“I like it,” says Duran, who lives in Denver but stays in East Vail during the week. “You keep moving. It just keeps you active.”

The basement of the complex has already been created. In that dark enclave ” it will eventually be a parking garage ” workers install pipes, build brick walls and do sundry other tasks.

High above the site ” some 260 feet above the ground ” Adam Christensen is busy in his tiny cabin that has wide views of Vail and the Gore Range. There is a tight, day-long schedule of tasks that require the long arm of his crane.

Christensen, who is from Utah, uses both hands to precisely locate the crane’s dangling hook as he stares through the window that’s at his feet. The veteran crane operator admits to being a little afraid of heights.

“It’s a bit of an adrenaline rush,” he says. “I just like running hook up and down. I like building things.”

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.


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