Using structural concrete and overlayment, the company has provided an alternate to tile, stone, asphalt, Kool Deck, terrazzo, marble and other hard-surface flooring materials on many different projects. The company's impressive portfolio includes projects at the Bellagio, the MGM Grand, Caesars Palace and New York, New York in Las Vegas, as well as projects in Seattle, Detroit, San Francisco and Tokyo.
Concrete Decor's Denise Wendt talked with principal Mark Balogh about the company.
Question (Q): How did you get into concrete work?
Answer (A): My father was a concrete contractor in Reno. I started working for him as a young man, then went to the University of Nevada, Reno, where I got my degree in business finance. I realized I had a knack for business combined with a vision of using concrete as an architectural medium.
Q: When and how did the company get started?
A: We started off small in the Reno/Sacramento area, doing flower shops and wineries. Mostly integrally colored and stamped concrete. Theirry Dougall of Dougall Designs saw some work we did at a winery. He thought that architectural concrete would be an exciting new medium for shopping mall flooring. Together, we developed the flooring for the Forum Shops mall at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. It was the first of its kind. Up to that point, concrete was mostly used for bridges, curbs and driveways. Now architectural concrete was now “out of the closet” and into shopping malls. The company moved to Las Vegas at the onset of Caesars Palace and Arcon of Nevada was born.
Q: What types of overlayments and coloring methods do you use?
A: We provide textured concrete, stained, and integrally colored concrete along with a variety of toppings. We also provide terrazzo flooring both in epoxy-based and cementitious-based materials. Terrazzo, in a cementitious-based material, can be used for an exterior application without fading and will pass co-efficient friction ratings.
We are currently working on the exterior plaza area for the Fashion Show Mall expansion with Whiting-Turner contractors and the Maryland-based Rouse Development Co. Rather than putting down the same types of plaza flooring that everyone else has, we wanted to do something that would complement the innovative architecture of the mall itself. We poured white concrete, broadcast different colors and gradations of aggregates, ground the surface smooth, then added decorative graphics with sawcuts. The outcome is quite beautiful and unique and commensurate with the Fashion Mall concept.
Q: Who comes up with your designs?
A: Our in-house team of designers works closely with architects and interior designers in the trade. Our goal is to obtain the designer's original design intent using the most viable methodologies, combined with the most cost-effective options for the project and the owner.
Q: How much input do your clients generally have in the design process?
A: We are a relationship-oriented company. We are quite successful at building solid relationships with architects, designers, contractors, developers and owners. Our relationships are based on mutual respect, honesty and trustworthiness. Our clients know we do our very best to provide them with the best product, in the most timely fashion, for a fair price, that can surpass the test of time in both function and design.
Q: How many employees do you have? What makes your team successful?
A: There are about 20 people in the office, and our field crew can grow up to 100+. We enjoy a family-like working environment, and I believe everyone here at Arcon takes personal pride in what we do. We all work together for a common goal.
Q: What challenges do you come up against? What have been some of your most challenging projects?
A: Most of our projects are destination resorts and casinos. We usually work on a fast-tracked accelerated schedule. Also, keep in mind: we work on the floor. When building a casino every trade has to finish at the same time, and everyone has to walk on the floor. A casino has to be open on time, look fantastic and be ready for the public to enjoy. We are usually one of the last trades to start and have one of the most important impacts visually for the general public.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job and concrete work in general?
A: I enjoy people. I love the relationships that have developed over the years at Arcon. I like making things happen, the art of the deal. Taking someone's concept, manipulating methodologies and making it work for the client within the confines of cementitious materials, is a great thrill for me. We as a team develop beautiful, signature, unique environments that the Arcon family can all be proud of.
Q: What changes do you expect in your business over the next 10 years?
A: Nothing in business, or in life, for that matter, is ever static. Evolution is imminent; change is inevitable. What's the next best thing to captivate the imagination of the public? It's a question I ask myself constantly and a question I know my staff asks themselves. We try to develop the future together.