Rotolo Consultants Inc.
- Written by: Emma Bouthillette
- Produced by: Rotolo Consultants Inc.
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Rotolo Consultants Inc. (RCI) is a second-generation business offering landscape design, construction and maintenance for 35 years. The Slidell, La.-based company is owned by brothers Joe, Kerry, Rod and Keith Rotolo and serves the majority of Louisiana and Mississippi.
The business started by Joe and Kerry as a small retail nursery after Joe graduated college. “We’re definitely a family business,” says Joe, president of RCI. “I’ve got three brothers and two nephews involved. Each of us run a separate and distinct part of the business and the key to it is that we run it as a business first.”
Over the years, the family business has grown from a small operation to a residential then later commercial landscaping business. Today the company features three divisions, including landscape construction, hardscape and pools, and a maintenance division of commercial client properties. RCI has become the preferred contractor for casinos in the two states and receives a lot of repeat business from clients.
Within the landscape division, the company handles everything outside a building with commercial customers. This includes not only picking out plants, but also implementing a design that best suits the area and the customer’s needs.
The pool and hardscape division is also directed toward commercial entities. The company works with customers to install pools or other water features, as well as design and install hardscape such as rock walls.
The maintenance division has a broader customer base, catering to commercial business and multifamily residences. Often times, RCI provides maintenance for the soft or hard landscaping that the company designed and installed.
RCI recently completed its 40th casino project. In the early 1990s casinos began creeping into Mississippi and Louisiana. “We’ve become the go-to contractor for their work,” says Joe.
For him, the most challenging project was the company’s very first casino project, the Grand Casino in Tunica, Miss. “It was challenging on a number of different levels,” says Joe.
The first challenge was the work originally slated to be a six-month project, instead needed to be complete in 60 days. This crunch of work time was partially due to the fact it was also the first casino job for the general contractor. Problems and delays continued to crop up but the casino had no intention on changing its open date.
The other challenge for RCI was the territory. One part of the project was on a very wet side of a levee along the Mississippi River. The other part was on a very dry side. This proved challenging for the design and selecting plants to be used within the landscape to still look cohesive.
Despite all the challenges, the owners of RCI think it was worth it. “That project pretty much made our name in the industry,” says Joe. “That’s why we got all the other casino projects in the area.”
In addition to working with casino clients, RCI is contracted with area hospitals for landscaping and maintenance projects. Right now, the company is expecting to be busy through 2016 with two projects for two major area hospitals totally $16 million. “It’s unusual to have three years of back log in this industry,” says Joe. “We’ve started work on both those hospitals and we’re doing concrete, landscaping, water features, irrigation and maintenance. Those two projects encompass everything we do as a company.”
Growth Based on Client Needs
“We really are responsive to our client needs and drive by our client requests when it comes to growth,” says Joe. At this point he adds, “RCI is in the best position we have ever been.”
The company has grown along with its clients, adding services such as in 2006 when RCI added pool construction based on need. This led to adding hardscape services and the maintenance division to care for client properties. The company also looks to add equipment based on need.
Despite growth, the company has faced numerous challenges. The economy did have an impact on its work, as did the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. “The challenge there was a tremendous influx of out of state contractors,” says Joe. “Work was sparse elsewhere so companies were coming in. It was an extreme bidding pressure because the number of companies biding for the same work.”
At the same time, RCI has watched that influx of companies disperse. “We’ve been called in on a couple fairly major projects because the contractors that did the work are no longer here,” remarks Joe.
With the backlog of work and response from past clients, the company is foreseeing a stable future. Joe anticipates growth to continue with client demand, as Rotolo Consultants Inc. remains a preferred contractor in the area.
For more information on Rotolo Consultants Inc., please visit: www.rotoloconsultants.com.
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