Tent Geek

Dan Kasid and his wife, Jennie, started All Events Tent & Party Rental, Longmont, Colo., from scratch 11 years ago because “I just like the work,” he says. “When you’ve completed the job, you’re done. Whether it’s a small delivery or a 500-person function, you’ve completed the gig; everything went off smoothly; people are happy.”

The best compliment, he says, is not hearing from people, because it means they don’t need to worry about anything. “They know that you’ll be there and do it right.”

He and his wife both handle a variety of jobs.“There’s no set line for who handles what,” he says. “We both do 100 percent.” About 15 to 20 percent of the Kasids’ business is in tent rentals, which is the more expensive end of the business; the rest is in renting supplies for events, which continues all year long. It’s windy and cold in Colorado in the winter. “A bad combination,” he says, “so not a lot of tents in winter.” The company employs from seven to 20 people, depending on the season.

What people want

Kasid says they have been expanding their product line to accommodate what people want now. “We’re in a market that has a pretty broad base. It goes in waves, in cycles, depending on what the magazines are putting out,” he says. “Certain things are hot in a given year, and not the next.”

Mostly, his clients want something unique; they have a vision, and they want to tweak the idea. “That’s where we come in,” he says. “If it was all white plates, white tablecloths and white napkins, it would be so easy to fill out an order, but that’s not what people are looking for.”

“We tend to be a little more high-end,” he says, doing weddings and corporate functions. They keep most of the tents they rent—from 10-by-10-feet to 100-feet wide, he says, in stock—and he’s particular about the manufacturers he uses. He avoids sub-renting “because we can’t guarantee the quality,” he says, but he’ll subcontract for other services, such as sound and audio-visual equipment, if he feels they need a bigger system or something more complex.

There’s busy and less busy

“You try to set up normal operating hours and you try to constrain it, but you always end up having spillover,” he says. When he can manage it, he likes to “go home, relax, watch movies, read, play video games online with a bunch of guys I know.” He might even do some hiking or camping in the off season.

“During the summer it’s the exact opposite,” he says. “You can expect to work seven days a week, but we try to give the guys a day off per week.” And even though he lives in a state many would consider a paradise for hunting and fishing, he says “I prefer to go grocery shopping.”

Finding IFAI

Kasid joined IFAI relatively recently, largely because of IFAI’s Tent Rental Division’s new tent ballasting tool. “That tool’s pretty awesome,” he says. “I’ve been tinkering with the ballasting tool. It’s pretty interesting. Hearing about that coming out was probably the single biggest impetus to getting me to join. It’s a big issue with party rental companies. It confirms some stuff that we were thinking and that we’ve been doing for a long time.” And Kasid knows his tents, rattling off specs on “a good chunk of them,” he says. “I’m just kind of a tent geek.”

By Janet Preus, editor, Specialty Fabrics Review