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Tent company pulls off a fundraiser atop a parking garage

Project Briefs | December 1, 2007 | By:

Stamford Tent & Event Services throws a swanky fundraiser atop a city parking garage.

Stamford Tent & Event Services was contracted to provide about $350,000 worth of tent and event products for a major event in White Plains, N.Y. A real-estate development corporation was underwriting a large fundraiser for a local hospital, and the event planners had picked the “perfect” venue: the top of a brand-new, eight-story parking garage in downtown White Plains.

“Getting the equipment onto the roof was the first obstacle,” says Steve Frost, president of Stamford Tent & Event Services. “We knew that was surmountable—just a matter of a crane and the budget.” But Frost and his team faced a much larger issue with the venue. The key players did not want Stamford’s team to drill through the waterproof membrane on the roof of the parking garage. And, they said, the weight required to safely ballast the 12,000-square-foot tent would be too great. In the end, Frost says, they went with the lesser of two evils: They decided to through-bolt onto the ceiling and the next level. “The weight of the ballasts would clearly have been a structural issue for the roof,” he says. “The through-bolting would have been a watertight problem rather than a structural problem, so they went back in after we were done and filled the holes with epoxy.”

The group had to meet with city engineers, building engineers and the fire department to work out all the details, but Frost says working with the city was much easier than expected. “The mayor sat in on the meeting with the head of the building department and the fire marshal and said, ‘Make it happen.’ Because this was such a high-profile event for the city and the mayor, they bent over backward to close a major street for a day or so while we craned it up, and also on the way down.”

Stamford provided all the rentals, flooring and HVAC for the event, including a combination of round, square and rectangular tables to seat about 800 people. After approximately six days of installation, Frost says, the event, which had the “greatest magnitude” of any that Stamford had done for this particular client, worked out well. “It was a very cool project because it was challenging,” Frost says. “This is the kind of project we really enjoy doing.”

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