Elan Construction Ltd.

Through the Years

Of course, instant success doesn’t insulate any business from potential pitfalls. Tougher times hit David’s fledgling company with the downturn of the early 1980s. It was a time that tested the mettle of new entrepreneurs and seasoned businesspeople alike. David admits: “I learned more from my mistakes than my successes.” Winning contracts for provincial and municipal government projects helped keep Elan afloat during Alberta’s lean years.

The 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary proved a boon. Elan was hired to build some of the all-important infrastructure for the games, including the bobsled start building at Canada Olympic Park (COP), as well as all the broadcast booths at COP, the Nordic Centre in Canmore and Nakiska in the Kananaskis. “I was proud to be part of this historic event in an emerging Calgary,” David said.

Spurred by the intense competition between local, regional and national construction companies for limited work in the Calgary area, Elan made a move in the early 90s to minimize its public tender work in favour of private projects in other parts of Canada and the United States. New associate companies were founded: Elan Construction (Eastern) Limited was incorporated in Ontario with Extra-Provincial registrations in Quebec and Newfoundland; and, Elan Construction International Ltd. was incorporated in Washington State and is licensed to do business in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and Arizona.

One of the company’s key national accounts during this time was the fourth biggest retailer in the United States – Costco Wholesale Corporation. Over a 16-year period, Elan built 20 of its stores in Canada and the United States.

This astute business decision proved enormously successful, boosting the company’s financial strength and its ability to take on larger, multi-million dollar contracts.

Elan’s overarching administrative functions remained in Calgary during that time. Site offices across the country formed fully self-contained satellite hubs. Employees were deployed for a period of several months or more to complete a project.

With a rebounding market in Calgary and Elan’s tremendous achievements on the North American stage, the company returned to its roots as the 20th century wound down and now maintains a highly successful business profile with projects in the city and throughout southern Alberta.