Choctaw Casino and Resort
No blame games at this resort project — we only made the job easier.
In 2018, design-builder Tutor Perini secured a huge win in Durant, Oklahoma — one that represented the firm’s increased presence in the south-central United States. The job? A $435-million contract to oversee the massive expansion of the existing Choctaw Casino and Resort, an AAA Four Diamond destination.
The project included retail, movie theaters, dining outlets, a fitness center and more. Most importantly, these new amenities would attract a surge of new visitors. A major part of Tutor Perini’s job included the brand-new, hotel tower housing more than 1,000 guest suites.
When it came to flooring, Tutor Perini needed a trusted flooring installer on site who could tackle the following challenges:
- Maximize cost-efficiency and safety on the job
- Coordinate with fellow subcontractors and architects
- Enter a project midway and seamlessly install pre-staged ceramic tile
Spectra was invited to bid alongside five other commercial flooring installers. As general contractor Zachary Clay recalled, Spectra won based on price — flexing the best value proposition for capabilities and competence.
Low bids can be a red flag warning for quality issues.
And as Clay recalls, “They just flat told me they’d make my job easier.”
It was a bold promise.
And in the end, Spectra delivered.
A swift recovery after a rough start
Projects like this can seem deceptively straight-forward.
Sometimes Spectra adds value during early steps by helping to facilitate material orders and staging logistics. But by the time we deployed at the Choctaw Casino and Resort, everything had already been purchased and staged. Our task was to simply walk on and install it.
“It started out rough,” Clay recalled. “The quality wasn’t there.”
This isn’t the kind of feedback any subcontractor ever wants to hear. But Clay clearly outlined the issue. In some instances, trade damage occurred when plumbers or accessories crews would accidentally crack or break the flooring materials. Whatever the reason, the stakes were obvious for Clay. He was overseeing the project — and he just couldn’t accept this kind of work with his name on the line.
Some subcontractors might get defensive or make excuses. They might even walk off the job site.
“We had a meeting with the project managers and installation managers. They communicated that sub-par quality to their team and quickly corrected it,” he said.
The Spectra team removed and reinstalled the substandard tile without a single complaint. This attitude surprised Clay. Such an early misstep could have poisoned this entire professional relationship. Instead, it got relegated to just that: a minor, early misstep.
“A big problem in our industry is that few people will take responsibility or accountability when issues arise. That’s why Spectra is successful — because we do take accountability. We’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, we could’ve done that better and we’re going to fix it,” said Joshua Hansard, Spectra’s account manager for this job.
By the project’s end, Clay’s perspective had dramatically softened.
“Look: You’re always gonna have those rough patches until you get your rhythm and acclimate to the specific project environment. It was a good job. After the third floor, they were running smooth. That took about a week. And by the 21st floor? They were knocking it out of the park.”
And it wasn’t just the positive attitude to critical feedback that impressed him.
“People need to know that there are stand-up sub-contractors like Spectra that do flooring, do it right and get the job done on time,” said Clay.
Clay has been in the construction business for over 18 years. From blame games to default, he knows first-hand how many things can go wrong on a job when it comes to subcontractors.
But here’s what Spectra did right:
- Open communication — Blame games can destroy a project. Our teams always include an on-site supervisor to resolve any red flags.
- Proper staffing — We secure skilled installation teams and keep them. Default? Not with us.
- Saved money — This project required customizations around tile bases and shower curbs. Instead of ordering additional material, our skilled crews fabricated these pieces on-site—eliminating extra material purchases.
- No delays — We do whatever it takes to get your floor finished on time. At the Choctaw Casino, we implemented the Schluter Kerdi waterproofing system, which cut installation time by 60%. In fact, we actually reduced pace in order to accommodate fellow subcontractors.
Despite the 350,000-square feet of ceramic tile to be installed, Spectra completed their scope in just 6 months. Installation moved so swiftly that Clay actually asked Spectra to slow down.
“I had to dial them back a little bit. They were running up my drywaller’s ass.”
This speed was partly thanks to the size of the crew Spectra sent to the job: at its lowest, 22 people ramping up to 40+ at peak work. As Clay put it, some general contractors might’ve thought that was too much. But he didn’t see it that way.
“They overstaffed it, which is good. I don’t mind that. I’m good with that. I’d rather have more people than no people. And they could’ve gone in and submitted an efficiency change order with guys standing around, but they chose not to. They said, ‘No, we’re gonna be a team-player.’”
This mentality manifested in other aspects of the job, too.
When we noticed tile configuration inefficiencies based on the original design, we provided architectural solutions, like custom fabrications and layout modifications.
“They were reasonable on change orders, schedule and quality,” said Clay.
That’s the value of our expertise in action.
“We were Johnny-on-the-spot. If anything came up, it was resolved within 24 hours,” Hansard said. “It was honestly the best executed project of my career. It ran like an assembly line.”
The no-drama flooring installation contractor you need
Everybody has stories about projects that go completely wrong and projects that go completely right.
But projects where subcontractors work with you rather than digging in? Those are rare. And while we’d prefer a perfect execution every time, we also approach hiccups from a team-player mentality, resolving problems as quickly as possible for you.
Tutor Perini’s experience on this hospitality job demonstrates how a flooring subcontractor’s professionalism, communication and coordination can safeguard against unnecessary headaches for general contractors like Zachary Clay.
Spectra has helped more than 400,000 customers achieve their flooring installation goals since we opened our first office in 2006. With 26 nationwide locations, you can count on our unparalleled service and expertise from almost anywhere in the United States.
Ready to make your next project as smooth as possible? Contact us today.