The "Misfits" of Par 3 Landscape Management Share their Secrets for a Thriving Landscape Business
Read Time4 Minutes
PublishedDecember 13, 2023
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Though they maintain five-star hotel properties and one of the world's most recognizable stretches of land—The Las Vegas Strip—Par 3 Landscape Management’s primary goal isn’t building a list of big-name clients.
“We have plenty of high-profile customers, but that's not what interests us,” says Kam Brian, Par 3’s CEO. “We'd much rather have a big commercial account, a nice HOA that will spin off work.”
“The ego is not it for us—you can tell by how dressed up I am for my presentation today,” he continues, gesturing to his black t-shirt emblazoned with Par 3’s signature “3” logo and relaxed gray khakis. “We don't have company uniforms … we want people to be comfortable in their skin.”
That drive for good, lasting work and comfort results in a highly well-organized operation with a relaxed “come as you are” energy—and that doesn’t stop at the company’s aversion to dress codes.
“We’re a bunch of misfits,” Brian says. “Paul (Jaramillo, Par 3’s founder and chairman) will take anyone from anywhere and turn them into a landscaper. I came to Vegas as a prosecutor. We have mechanics who are account managers and sommeliers who are safety managers.”
Because of its reputation in the market and its extensive use of Aspire, Par 3 was the obvious choice. The field trip took attendees from the closing keynote of IGNITE straight to Par 3’s offices, where they toured the property and participated in sessions covering operations, account and branch management, construction, enhancements, and irrigation.
The event was limited capacity—it is a working landscape yard and shop, after all. Judging by the active Q&As during the sessions and contractors milling around the fully equipped and sparkling clean maintenance shop, it was a valuable opportunity for 100 landscape pros to see what makes this $40-million business tick.
Betting big on water conservation and the Las Vegas population boom
“We’re creating the next step of water conservation for southern Nevada,” says Brad Hill, director of operations.” Some ideas on the horizon are recommending or mandating water budgets, water audits, smart irrigation controllers, and turf conversions from fescue grasses to more heat-tolerant Bermudagrass. Par 3 has totaled the gallons of water saved; as of this writing, it’s in the hundreds of billions.
The population boom has also impacted the company’s outlook. With people migrating in droves to Las Vegas from the surrounding states, new sports teams planting roots in Las Vegas, the ongoing construction of hotels and venues, and major sporting events like F1 and the Super Bowl, the opportunities for commercial projects and HOAs multiply.
“We're trying to structure ourselves with those boards, the property managers, and builders so we can be in a position to maintain them in the future,” says Hill.
Growing and investing in leaders
Despite being located in a city known for flash and excess, Par 3 remains humble.
“We’re happy with our station in life, and we’re happy doing what we’re doing, and we think there’s a lot of room to grow,” says Brian. The company spends a lot of time developing its team and has built a structure that allows people to directly reap the benefits of their work.
Account managers team up with branch managers to nurture relationships and sell work instead of a business development team making those introductions.
“We put our people in and reward them for gaining and maintaining those relationships,” says Brian.
Another path to success for Par 3 has been divisionalizing its service lines. For any job that requires a specialized skill, like irrigation, Par 3 has devoted time and training to give each team the expertise to be successful, rather than having crews attempt to be jacks of all trades.
Par 3’s focus on investing in operations includes several different initiatives:
Streamlining processes: Hiring in-house welders and running a full-service fleet shop to service trailers + maintain equipment fleets on-site
Service efficiency: Building more satellite yards throughout the valley so crews can be at properties within 10-15 minutes.
Career mentoring: Monthly mentor and mentee meetings to accomplish career goals
Organizational fit: Using tools like a culture index to put the right people in the right positions and decrease turnover + job dissatisfaction.
Networking is one of the most valuable parts of any event, and at IGNITE, landscape pros can share ideas, challenges, and best practices in a relaxed setting away from the office or the job site. The IGNITE Field Trip is another opportunity to view these ideas in practice while continuing to absorb the education from breakout sessions and keynotes.
“It was a great event—and it’s really impressive to see what they’re doing with water out here,” said Patty Buckley, account manager of Sunscape Landscaping Services in Austin, TX. “It makes me think of things we can do in a few of our current projects.”
At the end of the field trip, attendees gathered for cold beverages and snacks in the Par 3 maintenance shop. Admiring the neat rows of mowers, spreaders, and handhelds and asking questions about the company’s on-site equipment maintenance program, it’s clear to all that these self-proclaimed misfits know what they’re doing—even if no one is wearing the same t-shirt.
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