Construction passes pre-recession levels

Lookout Ridge bustles with activity as new homes are constructed. Photo SPIN.

If you felt like construction was happening everywhere this summer you weren’t wrong. During quick meetings on packed days, both Darcy Franklin of Meranti Developments and Jason White of Powder Ventures said this year has been the busiest since 2006 and 2007 before the recession impacted the resort.

The number of municipal building permits has increased greatly this year, from $21,000 collected last year to over $102,000, as of Sept. 20 with more expected before the end of the year.

“We haven’t had this scope of work since 2007,” White said. “It used to be normal,
it’s huge.”

Powder Ventures is now the second largest employer in the village according to White.
“We’re up to 45 employees on diverse projects,” he said.

“It’s exciting, I’ve been here 24 years and the growth curve just in the last two years has been substantial. I’m very happy and proud to be involved with it.”

Franklin echoed White’s sentiments that construction in the resort has been booming.
He has also faced the challenge of sourcing employees to meet the demand.

“There’s no doubt with things being busy that finding qualified manpower is a problem,” he said.

The busyness can be attributed to customers purchasing lots and building immediately, he said, as opposed to holding on to the property like they may have in the past.

“People used to buy and hold,” Franklin said. “But now they’re building in a short time frame and not building for resale. They want to live here or spend a significant amount of time here. The purchasing of land shows consumer confidence in Sun Peaks.”

Franklin added that many homes, especially duplexes, are being built for those who already live at Sun Peaks.

Looking toward the cooler months ahead Franklin doesn’t see much slowing down.
“We never stop, we usually frame all winter.”

White will stay busy through the fall, he said, with many staff switching to snow removal through winter.

“We want to thank everybody very much for their patience on jobs, we got through it,”
he said.

For both it is a positive time to be in business in the community.

“We’ve all survived up here during the down times,” Franklin said. “But none of us have thrived. The next year is looking very positive.”