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Custom tent provides alternative to permanent pavilion

Project Briefs | June 1, 2008 | By:

A client loves its last-minute tent enough to make it a permanent fixture. .

To the average client, the tent resting on a country club’s patio looks sleek and simple. But as Sean Scheidle knows, this tent is anything but simple. Nearly everything on the tent had to be customized to fit the country club’s needs. The tent’s size, height, leg spacing, gutters, liners and anchoring all had to be tweaked to create what is now a seamless look. “It’s a high-end country club,” says Scheidle, owner of Valley Tent Rental, Park Ridge, N.J. “They wanted everything exactly right.”

And—as somehow seems to always be the case with the most demanding clients—time was tight. “I gave them a bid in November for the tent to be installed by May 1,” Scheidle says, “and of course they called me up the second week of April.” Scheidle and wife Cheryl put Economy Tent International immediately to work to create the 15-by-70-foot frame tent. Luckily, the team at Economy had the same mind-set as the Scheidles and responded quickly. “I do whatever I have to do to make it work for the customer,” Scheidle says, “and they do the same thing.”

The client’s plan was to extend the club’s cocktail area for the summer, so club patrons could enjoy their drinks near the putting greens. The tent goes up each year, and each year Scheidle and his team have had to modify different parts of the tent in order to make the installation work more efficiently. There’s no point having a tent if guests will get wet anyway, so creating a rain gutter between the tent and the building was crucial. But the building’s slate roof presented a problem, since the team could not attach any gutter anchoring. Scheidle and his team figured out how to anchor a cable to the soffit and then used the cable to hold up the rain gutter.

“Every year I adjust my rain gutter sizes,” Scheidle says, “and the legs we’ve had to modify year after year to try to make it better.” Getting the tent’s height right has been a key challenge for the team. The first year the tent was up, the doors leading to the tent swung out directly underneath the rain gutter, rubbing against it and creating a hole. “It was the worst spot for it to happen,” Scheidle says. The team had to adjust the leg heights to bring the tent high enough to prevent the rubbing, but not too high so that it looks awkward against the building.

The slate patio that the tent rests on could not be drilled into, and the club did not want its affluent guests to have to look at water barrels. Scheidle solved this by buying decorative flower pots and filling them with concrete and an eye hook to anchor parts of the tent.

Scheidle’s custom solutions have pleased the client a great deal—so much so, in fact, that the club has decided to forego building a permanent pavilion, opting instead to continue putting the tent up each summer.

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