InTents June/July 2019 - 22

events | profile

Long-term success
Great Lakes Tent Co. grows as it provides long-term rentals
to the automotive market.

Great Lakes Tent Co.
www.greatlakestent.com
Warren, Mich.
Year founded: 1997
Employs: 10 full-time plus 10-20 seasonal
Primary business: Tent, event furniture,
place settings and equipment rentals
PROUD MEMBER

Tent Rental
Division

ABOVE: Great Lakes Tent installed this
40-by-180-foot Navi-Trac® tent with
window sidewalls for a BMW fundraiser
for Texas hurricane and flood victims.
RIGHT: For a school fundraiser, Great Lakes
Tent supplied a 50-by-160-foot Navi-Trac®
tent with 30-by-45-foot and 20-by-60-foot
tents attached to the main tent. Carpet
covered the Dura-Trac™ temporary flooring.
Photos courtesy of Great Lakes Tent Co.
22 intents

june-july 2019

G

reat Lakes Tent Co. is not your
ordinary tent rental company with
typical clientele. Yes, the Warren, Mich.based business serves a broad range of
customers throwing corporate events,
weddings and other private gatherings.
But it has also carved out a unique niche
providing long-term storage solutions for
the region's automotive industry.
In more than two decades, Great Lakes
Tent Co. has grown from its beginnings
as a side business founded by the family
of chief operating officer and treasurer
Michael Solomon.
"To be blunt, they put us kids right to
work; it was sort of free labor," Solomon
says. "As time passed, I enjoyed what I
was doing and I enjoyed the industry, so
I bought out my uncle in 2007. Then it
became me and my father, and my father is
more of a silent partner."

As the tent and event rental industry
has changed and evolved, so has the
company's customer base. "We used
to be pretty much a residential tent
rental company with a little corporate
business," Solomon says. "Now we're
50 percent corporate, and of that 50
percent, half are long-term rentals.
Of the remaining 50 percent of the
business, I would say 30 percent are
weddings and the other 20 percent are
private events."
Situated in the Detroit metro area, Great
Lakes Tent recognized the opportunity
offered by the automotive industry. "We
do a lot of events with the Big Three [Ford,
GM and Chrysler] around here," Solomon
says. "We'll set up tents for six months
and sometimes a year. In some cases, we
will set up a tent for two years, and the
customer will use it for storage."


http://www.greatlakestent.com

InTents June/July 2019

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