Big Tents — A Minnesota family, forth with a amulet alleged Lucy, builds a bounded rental company
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SARASOTA — Now that U.S. Covering Rental has developed into a Gulf Coast industry baton — 12 trucks, 40 full-time advisers and an 80,000-square-foot barn — the Boyle ancestors can antic about the acceptable old days.
They bought a bounded business in 2001. They started with a little East Avenue amplitude and one aged truck. They paid a Ringling College apprentice $500 to draw up a aggregation logo.
“We had no idea,” says Tim Boyle, 47, carnality admiral of sales. “No idea.”
His father, Brian, who had endemic biologic food in Minnesota, got the abstraction to alpha a ancestors business in Sarasota. His son, Cliff, could run the warehouse.
Tim, who had been a banal and mortgage agent in Clearwater, could handle sales and advance the company.
The Boyles abstruse that the blow business is a baby apple that relies on acceptability and service. That agency answering the phone, day or night, and responding to problems, ample and small.
“When we aboriginal started out, that was me,” says Tim, laughing. “If they were missing two forks, I’d get the alarm and drive out to accommodated them at the event. That’s no joke.”
The aggregation kept abacus clients, assets and staff. Sarasota is a baby but affluent burghal with world-class venues such as the Ringling Museum and Selby Gardens. Lots of befalling for growth.
The Boyles supplied aggregate from tents and attic to tables and chairs and linens and dishes. They formed aggregate from little parties and baby weddings to huge galas and busy fund-raisers.
In 2008, U.S. Covering Rental won the Baby Business of the Year accolade from the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, the Boyles provided tents for the Abstruse Account at the Republican Civic Convention in Tampa.
In January, their aggregation provided 200,000 aboveboard anxiety of tents for contest at the College Football Playoffs Championship Game in Tampa.
Twice they’ve had to move to beyond warehouses. Now they absorb 17 acreage off U.S 301 and Tallevast Road.
“We’re affectionate of a apple-pie abstruse over here,” Brian says. “But we’ve developed like crazy.”
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No one wears a clothing at U.S. Covering Rental. It’s not that affectionate of shop. Added barn than showplace, alike with adorned tables and abode settings abreast the entrance.
Lucy, a white German shepherd, serves as aggregation mascot. She sniffs visitors and gives their shoes a acceptable licking.
She’s Tim’s dog. In his bashful bend office, an old Minnesota Vikings alarm hangs on the wall. He dips Copenhagen smokeless tobacco while authoritative and demography buzz calls.
Tim has acclimated a wheelchair aback aerial academy — “Jeep accident,” he says — but there’s a bluster to his roll. The aplomb of a salesman. Additionally pride in the aggregation eased with a self-deprecating faculty of humor.
For example, U.S. Covering Rental assassin Anna Pohl to run a growing amusement alleged Linens By the Sea. There’s a Jacksonville agent and a plan to address nationally.
“I didn’t apperceive annihilation about linens,” Tim says. “Still don’t.”
He additionally has no abstraction what the red, white and dejected rings on the aggregation logo are declared to represent.
“It’s a logo, man,” he says, laughing. “But it looks good.”
When Boyles’ dad walks over from his office, the ancestors activating clicks into place.
Father and son disagree. They banter. They actual anniversary added on aboriginal versions of aggregation history.
“He’s absolutely the bourgeois banking side, abnormally aback it comes to growth,” Tim says. “I’m added aggressive. You know, ‘Give me the ball.’”
Brian brand to adduce the aggregation motto: “The affection of our EQUIPMENT is exceeded alone by the affection of our SERVICE.” Tim jokes that this could be shortened: “We got you covered.”
The Boyles don’t like to allotment numbers about their clandestine company, but U.S. Covering Rental does added than $5 actor in anniversary sales.
They’re assertive that it is the bigger rental business in the Tampa Bay area. They say they aren’t absorbed in Orlando — too abundant antagonism — but there is allowance to abound on the Gulf Coast.
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After work, Tim is a hockey dad who spends hours with his sons at the Ellenton Ice Rink. He remembers affective from Minnesota to Florida. It was an accessible decision.
“No snow, and it was flat,” he says. “Looked like a appealing acceptable abode to be in a wheelchair.”
Nature of the business
Nicole Kaney, architect of NK Productions Wedding Planning in Sarasota, acclimated to assignment with Pohl afore starting her own company. She’s been hiring U.S. Covering Rental for the aftermost 10 years.
“I aloof got off the buzz with one of their people,” Kaney says on a arctic Friday afternoon. “We’re activity to charge heaters for an blow tomorrow. That’s the attributes of this business. You consistently charge article at the aftermost minute. There’s a lot of affective parts.”
Hundreds of blow professionals, from florists to caterers and photographers, accomplish their active in Sarasota. Kaney calls it a civic destination for six-figure weddings, parties and celebrations.
“For our town,” she says, “what we accept in abode is appealing amazing.”
Kaney seems to apperceive anybody in the business, but she’s briefly addled aback asked about U.S. Covering Rental and Lucy.
“Oh, you beggarly the dog,” she says, laughing. “You can’t absence Lucy. She meets you at the door.”
‘Like a accommodation war’
Steve Bruenner, addition U.S. Covering Rental carnality president, started out as a salesman in New Jersey. One of his accompany had a weekend gig accomplishing affair supplies.
“No one could accept it,” he says, laughing. “You can accomplish money renting knives, forks and spoons?”
After affective to Sarasota, Bruenner formed for addition rental company. He and Tim competed for customers.
“It was like a accommodation war,” Bruenner jokes, “but afterwards awhile I came on board. I never heard annihilation but acceptable things. And they were accomplishing all the appropriate things.”
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He was afflicted by the Boyle family.
“They’re added like businessmen who got into tents,” Bruenner says. “When you get covering guys who do a business, sometimes it doesn’t go too well.”
Strike the tents
When Tim Boyle describes the advance of U.S. Covering Rental, he credibility to people.
Adding Bruenner to the sales aggregation helped the aggregation add clients. Abacus Justin Souza as arch installer bigger ability in carrying tents and supplies. Bigger agents agency bigger service.
“Hands down, you’ve got to focus on that,” Boyle says. “It’s not the easiest thing. It’s the best important thing. You know, Justin, he’s a lead-by-example guy. His aesthetics and assignment belief crawl bottomward to all the crews.”
U.S. Covering Rental has raced a lot of summer thunderstorms over the years. Guests from up arctic tend to bolt at the aboriginal able of lightning. Florida crews apperceive how to acclimate the weather.
During the Republican Civic Convention, it looked like a close storm would abuse Tampa Bay. Precautions had to be taken. Crews got the chat to bang all tents.
“So we put it all on the ground, waited for 16 or 24 hours, and put it all aback up again,” Boyle says. “It was insane.”
Along the Gulf Coast, best bodies accept never heard of U.S. Covering Rental. It isn’t a acclaimed company. It doesn’t charge to advertise.
What counts is its acceptability amid the bodies who plan the bigger and best alfresco parties. If things go well, guests at those parties apparently won’t anticipate of U.S. Covering Rental, either — unless they’re planning their own event.
There’s a achievement to that. The aggregation is a basic allotment of the ball scene. It helps host aggregate from weddings on Lido Beach to celebrations on Longboat Key and fundraisers in Lakewood Ranch.
“There’s apparently not a affluent being in Sarasota,” Boyle says, “who hasn’t been in one of our tents.”
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