Landscapers Weathering Economic Storm Better Than Most

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

Despite an economy that has left many businesses struggling and fighting to stay alive, local landscapers say their businesses are doing pretty well. As the housing market keeps families in their homes for longer and energy companies continue to drill, they're hopeful 2009 will be a good year.

Shyrel Phelps is spending her weekend talking with potential clients at the Landscapes West Conference and Garden Show. She says while business these days isn't booming like it was a few years ago, her company is holding steady.

"We're not doing too bad," said Phelps, who works for Rex Phelps Landscape & Irrigation. "We're looking for more as usual."

Other landscaping companies say they're experiencing similar things.

"In the fencing business, yes, we have been staying pretty steady," said Jerry Orman, who works for Taylor Fence.

Orman says he's never really seen the demand for fencing in the Valley slip, but it's the energy industry that's providing the big jobs.

"We've been getting a lot of the oil and gas business and that's been going pretty good," said Orman. "And the residential market has been staying pretty steady."

Others say it's the work they do at homes that is keeping them going.

"We're starting to see more residential and less commercial," said Phelps.

Painted Desert Landscaping owner Chad Driggers says it's the residential renovations that he believes will be the big sellers this year.

"The housing market has slowed down and people aren't moving quite so quickly," said Driggers. "So they're thinking, hey, we should stay in the house for a while. And if we are, how should we improve the house?"

Between the fountains, stone paths, and plants, landscapers say they have an idea or two about how people can do that. They're hopeful Grand Valley residents and businesses will listen.

"I'd like to see an increase, but I'm pretty sure we'll stay at least steady," said Phelps.

"I'm still pretty confident for this year," said Driggers.

The Landscapes West Conference and Garden Show continues Sunday at Two Rivers Convention Center from 9:00am - 1:00pm. Admission is $3.

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