During the fall of 2000, radio, TV, and print ads announced the impending openings of Disney's California Adventure theme park, Downtown Disney (an adjacent pedestrian mall), and the adjoining Grand Californian Hotel. Excitement and curiosity were growing among the general public. The concrete contractors working on these projects, however, had markedly different feelings.

"It was like a Chinese fire drill," says Shawn Devine, vice president and chief of operations for Sullivan Concrete Textures, Costa Mesa, Calif., the company placing the architectural concrete for the hotel. "When we came on, the roofer was up top, other guys were putting lath on, the windows were going in, and we were below finishing the concrete. We were out there morning, noon, and night, 7 days a week in order to finish."