There are a lot of moving parts when planning an event—any event. From a small meeting that requires 20 chairs to a lavish experience that requires construction, Colorado Party Rentals is up for the challenge.
Long-time event industry veterans Doug Schroeder and Dan Minehane founded Colorado Party Rentals in 2006 and made their name in the tent and party rental space. However, the businesses remained fairly flat in terms of revenue; in 2015, they sold the business to Nathan Pearse.
Pearse is the fourth generation of entrepreneurs in his family. He and his father bought a packaged ice company in Colorado and, after growing and selling that business, they were on the lookout for a new venture when they found Colorado Party Rentals.
At first, it seemed like a stretch. “I don’t know anything (about rentals),” Pearse said. “I’ve never rented a chair in my life.”
But Pearse knew that with his energy, leadership style, and some capital, CPR could grow. And it has: Since Pearse purchased it, CPR has grown 300 percent from a $2 million company to an $8 million regional player in the event space.
“We went from a true party rental company, which is … tables, chairs, the basic stuff, to really becoming an event company,” Pearse said. “We’re doing the highest of high-end weddings, not just in Colorado or not just in Denver, but even throughout the Rocky Mountains.”
Pearse attributes the growth of the company to several things, including CPR’s extensive inventory, their reputation to get it done and get it done very well, and customer service. Pearse wants each customer to have an enjoyable experience with CPR, whether it’s a wedding or a birthday party in the backyard. It might be difficult to convey a lot of passion for renting 20 chairs, but Pearse said that every order is important. Showing up on time (or early), communicating with clients, providing a fair price and ensuring that the client gets what they asked for all contribute to CPR’s success.
In short, not only meeting expectations but exceeding them.
One of the biggest events that CPR created was a wedding last year at a private residence in Castle Rock. In addition to a tent for 300 guests, CPR built a dance floor on the sloped backyard that, at its highest, was nine feet above the ground. For the catering, CPR provided a full cook tent with grills, ovens, cooktops, refrigerators and all of the other essentials for the culinary portion of the event. Cocktail hour took place in a separate, clear-top tent filled with lounge pieces from CPR. This space, complete with cozy couches, pillows, rugs, and various conversation spaces, is becoming de rigueur for weddings; it’s a trend that Pearse said will continue through 2020.
“We have designers on staff,” Pearse explained. “And they can help select items. We’re not just talking about tables and chairs, but we’re talking about, ‘Hey, I want to create a really cool event where it’s more of a cocktail hour and I don’t want to do the traditional cocktail tables with linen.’ We can create seating groups and very trendy couches and chairs and side tables and all that stuff.”
This is not your typical rental furniture. Instead, Pearse said he attends furniture design shows to find items that would be on display at West Elm, Restoration Hardware or Williams-Sonoma. Whether it’s an area for the groom to enjoy a cigar or a comfortable spot for congregating with a cocktail prior to dinner, the vignettes and groupings that CPR creates are modern and fashionable.
“It adds a lot of style to the event and people can use that to put their personal touches,” Pearse said.
For those with a specific vision, CPR will do everything in its power to make that idea come to life—even if it means building it. CPR has a workshop for custom orders from bars to farm tables and almost anything else a customer can imagine.
“A lot of people come to us with an inspiration board from Pinterest or (elsewhere) … and they say, ‘you don’t have this and nobody else has it. Can you make this for me?’” Pearse said. “We’re not going to just say no.”
Colorado Party Rentals
5005 Ironton St.
Denver, CO 80239
890 Elkton Dr., Ste. 101
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
3005 S. St. Francis Dr., Suite 2B
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Katie Coakley is a freelance writer based in Denver covering travel, craft spirits and beer and outdoor adventures. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and online outlets like The National, Business Insider and Outside. She’s currently compiling an inspiration board for her next big event.
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