Tents that are less common in conventional inventories can help rental businesses open up new markets. A unique product won’t be right for every tent rental business, but for companies interested in exploring potential opportunities, an unusual tent may be just the thing their customers didn’t know they needed.
Losberger De Boer, an international manufacturer of tension fabric structures (with U.S. headquarters in Frederick, Md.) provides numerous shelters that can be used for disaster relief, says Dennis Remsberg, RDS product manager. The company’s Dome shelters are wind rated beyond 125 mph and designed to provide complete protection from any weather. Losberger’s P-Series modular shelters are constructed for maximum wind and snow capabilities, provide a humidity-controlled environment, are air-tight and can be semi-permanently or permanently installed.
Remsberg says demand for disaster relief and protective shelters is steadily increasing even in the absence of calamity. “During disasters like [Hurricane] Katrina, for example, tent rental companies did get a lot of calls for shelters,” he says. “However, tent companies that have these shelters in their inventories for disaster but have reached out to other markets have done really well.”
Another structure less common to rental inventories is the Humanitarian General Purpose Tent System (HGPTS) from Celina Tent Inc. This easy-to-assemble structure is designed as a longer-term shelter for humanitarian aid stations.
“Each shelter is packed into a large plastic container and includes all the frame pieces and fabric portions needed for installation,” says Jill Roy, director of sales and marketing for the Celina, Ohio-based fabric products manufacturer. “The frame is very similar to the West Coast-style frame used on our standard tents, with additional side-support straps. Wall portions can be solid, pulled back to use only mesh or completely removed.”
Most often used by governments or organizations sending aid to disaster areas, the HGPTS can be deployed in any situation calling for a standard 16- by-16-foot frame tent, with its snow-loading capability and Berry Amendment compliance.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Stretch Marquees and Fabric Structures is a supplier of stretch tents, promotional marquees and outdoor fabric structures. In addition to the company’s off-the-shelf (albeit unusual) structures, such as the AXION Flower and various stretch tents, the company fabricates unusual custom designs, says Stuart Johnstone, founder and company director. One project involved creating a structure for the Jägermeister brand for a music festival in Gisborne, N.Z.
“Jägermeister commissioned a large inflated rectangle to house their entertainment for the festival,” Johnstone says. “Unique in design, this structure’s canopy was constructed from PVC fabric and stretched onto its three-dimensional form using baffled and tethered walls and roof, which was inflated with air. The17.5-by-11.9-meter structure was 6.7 meters high with arched doorways approximately 4 meters wide by 2.6 meters. It was anchored using evenly placed concrete weights.”
Other projects have included a custom mobile education and free-standing exhibit space installed in the remote rainforests in the Philippines, a truss structure with Bedouinflex fabric for the Australian F1 Grand Prix and a two-story container structure with a custom roof for Dignity Health installed at Super Bowl 50.
Pamela Mills-Senn is a freelance writer based in Long Beach, Calif.