Construction Today - November 2017 - 75
to crafting design so that the details fit into
the budget," Acton says.
One recent example of the company's
success in design, fabrication and construction started in November 2016. That
was when the company was hired by Walt
Disney Imagineering to transform the
Tower of Terror attraction at Disneyland's
California Adventure theme park into
"Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission Breakout," a new ride experience.
Working with a set of renderings, Forté
budgeted, designed, fabricated, engineered,
delivered and installed thousands of custom ride elements for the new attraction in
just nine months. The company's in-house
design, project management and fabrication teams created hundreds of pages of
shop drawings, 2,785 fabrication drawings
and more than 8 miles of custom-fabricated
pieces. The 7,000-square-foot attraction includes 10 scenes and features animatronics.
"Building massive vitrines to encase
intergalactic props, holding rooms where an
animatronic figure raccoon is breaking superheroes out of prison and giant aluminum
cabinets to house some of Marvel Comics'
best-known collectibles all make for an interesting project," Acton says. "The rare nature
of this project is what made it incredible."
The attraction, which opened in May
2017 to correspond with the release of
Marvel Studios' second "Guardians of the
Galaxy" film, was the fastest attraction ever
delivered for Disney, Acton says.
many Las Vegas projects
include the fountain at Lake of
Dreams at the Wynn resort.
Forté recently began work on another
high-profile project. The company is building a "Hell's Kitchen"-themed restaurant on
the Las Vegas Strip, where the Fox Network
reality show of the same name will be filmed.
Work on the project began in July; the project
has a drop-dead completion date of Dec. 20,
after which the show will begin filming.
"We were hired to creatively solve
budget challenges and still deliver on
time. Our client's choice was to go back to
a design/architect team and spend more
on design, or have a design/build partner
in us," Acton says. "[The client] said Forté
is the only one who can self-perform all
The firm has built many
entertainment projects, such
as Universal Cinema in LA.
elements in-house and control time and
money. That's what sets us apart."
A Family Legacy
Specialty contracting runs in Acton's family.
His grandfather Hubert Acton's company,
Acton Animation, worked on theme park
attractions including Disneyland's Matterhorn and Pirates of the Caribbean rides.
Hubert's son, Ken Acton, took the reins of
the company in 1982. His pioneering work
in animatronics includes the Jaws attraction
at Universal Studios.
Scott Acton started working for the company at age 16, sweeping floors on job sites and
helping to maintain the Jaws animatronic
shark. Scott Acton started his own fabrication
and contracting company, which was sold in
2007 to an equity company. He started Forté
Specialty Contractors shortly afterward.
After opening its doors, Forté grew to
more than $50 million in revenue. The
company continues to grow both in revenue and physical footprint, and plans to
open a design office in California next year.
"The biggest entertainment companies in
the world are there, and a lot of our work is
theme-park related," Acton says.
"Steady, controlled growth is the name
of the game for us," he adds. "We're not
actively looking for acquisitions, but would
consider joint ventures with strategic partners in the future."
NOVEMBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM