Fabricating for a custom market
Hamrick, who moved from San Diego, CA, to Vail, CO, in 1980, began his business working mainly with tile. Seeing a market for stone in this high-end resort area, Hamrick then became a slab distributor and fabricator. After opening the stone fabrication division of Stone Concepts, Hamrick hired Carlos Ordonez to oversee the operations, and the company has since installed a broad range of high-end kitchen and bath countertops, as well as floor and wall tiles.
“It’s amazing the amount of money that goes into real estate on the Western Slope,” Hamrick said. “We focus on the resort areas from Breckenridge, Vail, Steamboat and Aspen to Telluride. Colorado resorts are an international destination, both for skiing and golf. The people who are building these projects bring with them some of the top designers and architects from around the world. We just finished a $14 million home in Arrowhead, and we are currently working on $15 million condos in Vail Village that will take us up to three weeks per unit to complete the intricate details.”
Besides producing for its custom market, Stone Concepts’ own 8,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility, which includes over an acre of land behind the building to maintain the stone yard and handle possible future growth, was tailor-made, according to Hamrick. “The facility was built 10 years ago from the ground up, specifically to meet the needs of this market,” he said, adding that one of the most innovative features of the facility is the water-recycling system purchased through GranQuartz of Tucker, GA.
Additional equipment includes two bridge saws, one from Matrix Stone Products Inc. of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, and the other from Marmo Meccanica S.p.A. of Italy; a Pro Edge from Park Industries of St. Cloud, MN; a Marmo Meccanica LCV Magnum flat edge polishing machine; and a Master Stone 4000 CNC workstation from Intermac America of Charlotte, NC.
“We are continuously in the pursuit of new technology,” Hamrick said. “The equipment allows us to achieve a higher level of production and quality on larger projects.”
Most recently, the company added a Park Wizard radial arm polisher for sink cutouts, face polishing and antique finishes. “The wizard is incredible,” said Hamrick. “We’re having a great time with it.”
In the future, Stone Concepts plans to implement digitized templating to its equipment. “We just are in the process of purchasing a Proliner,” said Hamrick. “We’re really excited to get that on board.”
And for other upcoming endeavors in general, Stone Concepts anticipates addressing the challenges of the environment within its own facility, and by also teaming up with factories and quarries that put the environment first. “We are now looking for solutions to provide our customers with a choice when it comes to sustainable materials,” said Hamrick. “As a company, we have made the decision to go green. We have implemented green practices within our company, and we are learning about new materials as fast as they hit the market.”
“Granite is the material of choice in this area and for good reason,” he continued. “It is the most durable product that can be installed on a countertop. It will last the lifetime of the home. There are other products that we have started using, such as IceStone, Meld, CaesarStone, recycled glass and recycled aluminum that provide green solutions to our customers.”