From Frozen Dead Guy Days to destination weddings, RC Special Events brings the ‘Really Cool’ to Northern Colorado.
RC Special Events (RC stands for “Really Cool”) was created in 2008 from two existing businesses: A-Z Party Rentals in Fort Collins, Colo., and Rental City in Boulder. Ian Menzies, RC’s CEO, acquired A-Z in 2005, Rental City in 2007, and quickly rebranded the companies, creating a single website, inventory listing and business software system, while maintaining both locations.
More than half the company’s work is providing tent and event rental for corporate events and festivals—such as the annual Frozen Dead Guy Days, a late-winter celebration in Nederland, Colo., featuring coffin races, parade of hearses, the crowing of an Ice Queen and a frozen salmon toss. The event is built around local lore involving a deceased Norwegian immigrant and cryogenic body storage, though beer drinking and celebrating winter factor into the fun. For RC Events the festival means installation and take-down challenges due to the 7,000-foot elevation, below-freezing temperatures and high winds. “Despite the challenges, our crews love doing work for that event,” Menzies says. “And we do many corporate events and festivals—our repeat business is extremely high.”
The remainder of the company’s work is for weddings, many of which are destination events that take full advantage of the alternating verdant and snowy Colorado scenery and views of the Rocky Mountains. No matter what the season, the unpredictable nature of the winds provides for sometimes difficult installations. “Microbursts can happen, especially in early summer, which requires great care by our tenting crews during installation,” Menzies says.
To build staff skills and rapport, Menzies hosts a retreat each year, during which the employees attend training sessions, participate in discussions, play team building games and eat lunch and dinner together. The highlight of the day is always the annual stake driving competition, in which contestants pound a 36-inch stake into a pre-set mark. The winner with the fastest time earns bragging rights for the year.
RC Special Events doesn’t exclusively serve Colorado; the company recently provided tent and event rental for a 130-guest wedding at a ranch outside of Laramie, Wyo. The ranch, homesteaded by the client’s mother’s family in the 1800s, still had the original home and schoolhouse around which the cocktail reception and ceremony took place. The event took six months to plan and required an onsite technician to be present during the event.
“RC Special Events is the largest event company in Northern Colorado, and is growing, with a third location planned,” Menzies says, “thanks to great work by many people.”