Modular housing maker targets oil, gas industry

JOHNSTOWN — PTI Group Inc. will use its new 100,000-square-foot facility near Johnstown to make modular offices and temporary housing that could be used by the bustling oil and gas industry in remote sections of Northern Colorado.

The Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based company started operations in the facility, west of Interstate 25, last month.

PTI said it will sell its accommodations statewide, as well as in Wyoming, Utah, Texas, the Dakotas and Montana, to the oil and gas industry.

But PTI acquired the facility – once occupied by Barvista Homes, a modular single- and multi-family home manufacturer – because it needed production capacity to sell its products throughout North America, not just in this region, said Lou Doiron, PTI vice president of sales.

“It just so happens Niobrara is in its backyard,” Doiron said.

The company bills itself as one of the largest hoteliers on the continent; it owns and operates 22,000 rooms in North America.

A PTI “dorm” – eight units – sells for about $1.5 million.

PTI has not yet sold any structures to oil and gas companies in Weld County. But the area’s lodging shortage presents a clear opportunity as oil and gas workers drive up hotel occupancy and home rental rates in Greeley and surrounding communities.

“Typically, any project that’s more than 45 minutes away from a hotel or motel, then they start to look at accommodations closer” to a work site, Doiron said. “Having a plant in their backyard will give us some competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

PTI facilities can accommodate anywhere from 50 to 10,000 people, and the company offers amenities such as food service. Its “villages” include kitchens and dining areas as well as rooms with flat-screen satellite television, Internet access, linens and dishes.

The company also has the capability to provide generators for electricity while hauling water in and trucking out sewage.

Not only will the company provide housing for a growing oil and gas workforce, it will create positions of its own.

PTI, which employs 3,000 worldwide, eventually will hire 250 employees at its new plant. It employed about 40 at the location as of last week.

“The key component for us is a trained and skilled workforce,” Doiron said. “Other than a few engineers and architects, the bulk of the people we hire will be plumbers, electricians, carpenters.”

PTI’s work also should spill over to suppliers such as lumber and metal fabricating companies.

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