Tourism is one of the top ten industries in Phoenix, welcoming over 16 million visitors per year. The city is home to more than 62,000 hotel rooms across 500 hotels and 40 resorts, many of which are Five Star hotels. These properties require an unmatched level of construction expertise and exceptional attention to detail in order to achieve that status. This list introduces you to some of the contractors who have proven to be able to deliver just that. About half of the companies on the list have been around for over a century, building many of the landmarks the city is known for.
2620 S. 55th St., Tempe, AZ 85282
About Sundt Construction
The Canopy by Hilton Tempe is the lifestyle hotel brand’s first location in the Southwest at 136,000 square feet, 200 guest rooms and 14 stories. It features a lobby-level café, a gym, a rooftop pool with a terrace bar, cabanas, a firepit, and over 3,000 square feet of meeting space.
Sundt Construction completed the $40,000,000 project in 2020. Sundt was founded in 1890, and has since built a broad portfolio of large-scale projects in the southwest U.S. At the head of the company’s strategic operations as president, CEO and chairman of the board is G. Michael Hoover, who has been in the industry for over 40 years. Hoover previously served as the company’s Executive Vice President and COO, during which he led the company’s expansion to the Irvine, Salt Lake City, and Dallas-Fort Worth markets. An experienced hospitality contractor, Sundt also built the 750,000-square-foot, 750-guest room and 32-casita suite, Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, and the 54,000 square foot, 16 guest suite, 26 luxury villa Miraval Resort in Tucson.
3352 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018
About Chanen Construction
At the heart of the Talking Stick Entertainment district stands the 15 story Talking Stick Resort. With a 240,000 square foot gaming floor, 13,000 square foot spa and 100,000 square foot conference center, it’s easy to see why the AAA Four Diamond hotel has become one of the top destinations in Phoenix. There are also eight restaurants, ten lounges, three pools, two multi-level parking garages, and retail shops on the property.
Chanen Construction completed the $450-million-dollar project in 2010, a portion completed three months ahead of schedule, allowing an advanced opening. Chanen has been building stand-out structures across the US since 1955. Herman Chanen founded the company on a $1,000-microloan, and has grown it into one of the largest privately held general contracting and construction management firms in the US, where he now serves as chairman of the board. Considered one of the drivers of growth in the southwest U.S., Herman has also served on numerous Arizona building and business organizations alongside his son, Steve, who now sits as President and CEO of the company. Some of the firm’s other landmark projects include Sky Harbor Terminals 2 and 4, and the Warner Bros. headquarters in Burbank, California.
2180 North Wilmot Rd., Tucson, AZ 85712
About Lloyd Construction
AtThe first hotel to be built in downtown Tucson in over forty years, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Gold Certified-AC Hotel Tucson stands at eight stories tall, with 4,500 square feet of ground floor retail space, and a four level 200-car parking garage. The 130 guest rooms, six suites, AC Lounge, fitness center, rooftop pool and 1,500 square feet of meeting space are all built to a sleek European design, blending classic architecture with modern aesthetics. The hotel won the US Green Building Council (USGBC) Heavy Medal Award for Innovative Design, New Construction in 2019.
It was built by Lloyd Construction, which was founded by Bill Lloyd, Sr. in 1969 in Pima County. The firm has completed over $1.25 billion worth of projects throughout Tucson and Southern Arizona. Bill’s sons William and Bradley now serve as the second generation leaders of their father’s firm. Bill Jr. first joined the company as a carpenter, eventually managing many of the company’s high profile projects with a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) certification, and currently serves as president. Bradley serves as vice president, with a Masters Training Certification from the American Concrete Institute, as well as a Project Manager Certification from Fred Pryor Seminars. He also served as the Arizona Building Alliance’s (ABA) State Chairman in 2019.
Caliente Construction, Inc.
485 W. Vaughn St., Tempe, AZ 85283
About Caliente Construction, Inc.
Caliente Construction has done over 3990 projects throughout the Western United States, including in Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. This women-owned business was established in 1991 by President and CEO Lorraine Bergman, considered one of the most influential women in the industry by the ABA. Caliente has built projects for the retail, restaurant, medical, hospitality and education markets.
The firm renovated the Hampton Inn & Suites Flagstaff, a 126-room hotel that stands a mile from Northern Arizona University and Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, and twenty minutes away from the Lowell Observatory and Walnut Canyon National Monument. The property also has 1,395 square feet of total event space, four meeting rooms, and its largest room is at 675 square feet. The team also worked on a combination of office and hangar building at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
1707 E. Highland Ave. Suite 125, Phoenix, AZ 85016
About Hardison/Downey Construction
Founded in Phoenix in 1985, Hardison/Downey Construction does all kinds of commercial construction, from retail to hospitality, to education, restaurant and office building. Bob Hardison and Pat Downey envisioned the firm to bring the same level of expertise and attention to all projects big and small. Today, President Justin Newman carries on that vision. Newman’s 20 years of construction experience ranges from alternative energy and public works to criminal justice and high-end residential projects. He has also served on the Executive Board of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters.
The firm’s hospitality portfolio in Phoenix includes work on the historic 45,600 square foot, 128 guestroom Hotel San Carlos, the 103,000 square foot, 119-key Royal Palms Resort, as well as the 22,292-square-foot, 43 Hacienda-Style room Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley
4511 E. Kerby Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85040
About W.E. O’Neil
W.E. O’Neil has served an impressive array of customers through projects in locations from Connecticut to California since it started in 1925. William O’Neil represents the third generation of leadership in the company his grandfather built, which he first joined in 1967 as a layout engineer, moving on to other field roles before assuming executive positions, most recently as president and CEO, and now finally serves as chairman of the board since 2014. Brian Ramsay followed O’Neil as president and CEO in the same year, bringing his own thirty years of project management experience to the role. Leading the Phoenix & Tucson arm of operations is Bryan Dunn, who himself has over 20 years of successful leadership experience in the construction industry, high credibility and strong relationships with the community.
W.E. O’Neil built the 96,000 square foot, four-story, 156-key Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River hotel and conference center, Marriott’s first property on U.S. Tribal Land, and also the first in its LEED Volume sustainable building program. The firm also built the 92,684 square foot Hyatt Place Mesa and the 310,000 square foot Ritz Carlton Resort at Dove Mountain.
2501 East University, Phoenix, AZ 85034
About Sletten Companies
Definitely not your ordinary overnight stay, FOUND:RE is an art boutique hotel in downtown Phoenix. The 86,645 square foot structure features unique artwork not just in its common spaces, but even inside the loft-like guestrooms through a rotating display schedule that aims to support local artists. The custom millwork and floating bed frames lend to the industrial and raw feel throughout the property. The hotel won the AZRE Red Award for Hospitality in 2017.
FOUND:RE was actually transformed from the old Lexington Hotel by Sletten Companies. John Sletten, a carpenter from Montana, began the company in 1928. President Erik Sletten has been the third generation leader of the company since 2004. Erik has been in the construction industry since 1997. The Phoenix office was opened in 1972, and is currently led by Arizona Division Manager KC Dougherty, who has been with the company since 2016, and has over 21 years of experience in the industry, ranging from airport, hotel and casino, and educational facility projects. The company’s other projects in Arizona include the Wild Horse Pass Casino in Chandler, as well as work on Sky Harbor, the University of Arizona, Tempe High School and the Parker Unified School District.