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Home | AUSTIN | Spotlight | Spotlight - Tyler Mason, Co-owner, Dakota Horizon

Spotlight - Tyler Mason, Co-owner, Dakota Horizon

image L-R: Levi and Tyler Mason

AUSTIN - Where did you grow up? I grew up in Alamo, NV, which is about 100 miles north of Las Vegas. I’m fourth generation from Southern Nevada and moved to North Dakota about six years ago.






Getting back to my childhood, I was born and raised in Alamo.  I left there when I was 19 to go on a mission for my church.  I spent two years back east serving a mission.

When you say you traveled east with your church, was that eastern United States or east as in Asia?
    I was in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  I have three sisters who also left to do missionary work.  One of my sisters went to Japan, one went to Brazil, and one stayed here in the states and went to New Jersey. 

Tell me about your missionary work?
    Our church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints so you’ve probably have seen the Mormon missionaries, well I was one of those missionaries when I was 19.  I spent two full years donating my time on a mission and teaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    I tell my son, Levi, you need to go on a mission or go into the military.  One of those two things is a good experience.  It was good for me.  I learned a lot and grew a lot.

Levi, do you have any plans in going into the missionary work or what are you thinking?

    Yes, I’ll probably do some missionary service like my dad. 
     Tyler:  He’ll be old enough to go in three more years.

How did you get started in construction?
    My dad was an equipment operator in the Nevada test site, Area 51.  He was out there working and we would always do jobs in the town that I grew up, Alamo.  I helped build our house when I was in high school and we had a restaurant that I worked at. I worked construction in the summers.  It was always something that I enjoyed.
    It was definitely by choice and not by “wow, it’s the only thing I can do.”  I enjoy construction and the diversity of construction and the types of projects we get to do.
    When I came back from my missionary work, I went to work for my dad. In 2005 went into business for myself doing construction.  In southern Nevada, I was more of a general contractor. 
    Growing up, I was always running equipment, always being around site contracting.  So with our move to North Dakota and doing business there that is direction we went.  We did a lot of commercial.
    Last year we did projects in Washington State, Idaho, North Dakota, and we were a little spread out.
Area 51 has the stigmatism of the aliens; did your father ever encounter alien activity?
    No, at least not that he was authorized to tell (laughs).

What made you start your own business?

    I think from the age of nine I was always doing my own little business whether it was mowing lawns or tilling gardens.  I was being an entrepreneur.  It was the American dream to have your own business and build a company that is yours and to have something that you can pass on to your kids.  That’s something that has always been important to me.

Levi, are you part of company?

    After school and during the summer I help out.

Why did you move your company to Texas?

    Two reasons.  Oil fields slowed down in North Dakota, which means construction ultimately slowed down.  It’s not a very diverse economy up there like it is here.  We came to San Marcos to do work for a general contractor and fell in love with the area.  We just felt like there was a lot of work here and a better season for work.  With the type of work we do, we are very limited in North Dakota with the weather and decided having year-round work was better for our business rather than trying to squeeze it into a four to five month period.

Did your parents support you in your endeavors?

    Oh yeah, definitely.  I had a lot support from my parents along the way.  And even in the business now, they’re partners in the business, both my mom and my dad.

What roll does your mom play?
    She handles the bookkeeping and billings even though she still lives in Nevada.  We have everything networked together so that she can do things from there and I can do what I do from North Dakota or here.

Do you think your parents will ever move down here?
    No (sighs), I think my mom would love it.  I’ve been trying to get her to come check it out, but she has acreage and horses.  My mom’s a cowgirl.  Texas is great for a cowgirl but she’s been in Southern Nevada her whole life.  I don’t see her leaving.

What was it like working for your parents?
    Typical.  It’s not always easy.  Working for family can be difficult but it was good.  I learned a good work ethic from dad.  He has always been a hard worker and so has my mom.  I think I learned a lot of the physical aspect of work from my dad, but I learned the business aspect from my mom.  They were both very good in teaching me that and patience.

Levi, do you miss your grandparents?
    Yes.  I only get to see them four times a year.
    Tyler:  Grandpa is actually going to be coming down here for little bit.  He’s getting restless.  He wants to come down and help.

Has he been down here before?
    He’s never been to San Antonio so he’s excited to come. He’s always wanted to see the Alamo.  He’s a very big history buff. 
    When I was a little kid, we lived in West Texas for a short time, but he never made it to San Antonio.  We still have a lot of family in West Texas.

What was it like to grow up in Alamo, NV?

    It was a small town, about a thousand people and a hundred miles from Las Vegas.  You had to go to Vegas to do any shopping.    When I was growing up, there was a very small grocery store and a couple of gas stations.  There are a few more things there now, but it is still very small.
It was a very nice community, good people.  It’s in the desert, but there’s a lot of water. It’s very green there in the valley.
    It gets hot there.  The climate is probably a little hotter than here, but not as humid.  It’s funny because I never really like the heat in the summer, but after living six years in North Dakota, I’ve grown an appreciation and decided it’s better than experiencing the -30 or a -70 with wind chill.

Have you always worked for your father?
    There was a period of about two years that I worked for a general contractor on a condo project in Las Vegas.  While I was working for them, my boss and I partnered up in a company called Baring Point Construction.  Then I went up to North Dakota and then later on, I started up Dakota Horizon.

When was Dakota Horizon established?

    Two years ago in 2015. 

How difficult has it been to get into the Texas market?

    A lot of people told me it was going to be hard because it’s a good ole’ boy system, but I found so far everyone has been very welcoming.  We’re still trying to get more work, more contracts for sure.  But I’m fine doing that slowly.  The amount of work we have now is sufficient.  For the most part every one has been great.
So, we are keeping up with a slogan that Texas is the friendly state?
    Absolutely.  Very much so.  We have felt very welcomed and have made some very good friends here and feel like it’s a great place to call home.

How many kids do you have?

    I have four kids, three daughters and my son, Levi.   My oldest daughter Melissa is 17, Machala is 16, Levi is 15 and my youngest daughter, Reagan is 9.

How did you come up with the name Reagan?
    My wife and I have always liked the name.  I won’t lie, wife and I really liked Ronald Reagan and we just thought that would be a pretty girl’s name.

Tell me about your wife?
    Amy was born in Seattle, WA and moved to Las Vegas when she was three.  We met in 1998 shortly after I came back from my mission.  We dated for a short time before I proposed to her.  It was a very short engagement.

How short?
    I met her in June, proposed in August, and we got married in October.

What does your wife do?
    Amy works for Delta Airlines on the ramps and she’ll be transferring here.  

What are your hobbies?

    My main hobby is flying.  I’m a pilot for fun I guess you could say, but I enjoy anything outdoors.  I’ve been bear hunting.  I have a lot of friends who are avid hunters and I tag along.

Do you own your own plane?

    I do, right now.  I’m probably not going to bring it here.  I’m in the process of selling it now.   I have a little Carbon Cub, two-seater.

You were involved with a job in Saint Hedwig, TX?

    Yes, Homes for Troops.  A month ago, we met up with Bill Hager, Hager & Sons, who is the general contractor for these homes.  He was needing help with site work for this particular home.  Homes for Troops build these homes and turn them over to injured veterans with no mortgage.

Where do you see this company going in the next five years?

    I would like to have a fair amount of work with ten to fifteen employees.  Last year before coming here I had about 35 employees and really don’t care to get back to that.  I would like to have about ten employees with a good client base and reputation here in the area.  I think I’d be pretty happy with that. -cmw

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Author Info
Carol Wiatrek meditor@constructionnews.net