InTents October/November 2021 - 14

events | showcase
PGA members may bring a different guest
each day of the Ryder Cup. Arena Americas
erected the structure that houses the PGA
Member Club adjacent to the driving range
at Whistling Straits.
structures in each area and a 40-by145-meter
tent structure for the championship
shops-the largest tenting
structure at the tournament. Installation
crews topped out at 135 crew members,
including approximately 80 subcontractors
from several companies to ill out
the looring, structure and carpet crews.
Topographical challenges
On the shores of Lake Michigan,
Whistling Straits is a course designed to
echo the undulating hills of golf courses
in western Ireland-which spells
installation challenges for tenting crews.
" The course is beautiful-and it sits
on a lake so big it looks like an ocean, "
Gaffney says. " But there's not a lat piece
of land on the course. It's a challenge to
get equipment out to where it needs to
be, and it also means we are building on
these incredibly challenging footprints.
" The entrance area structures are
BY THE NUMBERS
* 135 Arena Americas and
subcontracted installers
* 1.2 million square feet of fl ooring
* 1 million square feet of carpet
* 600,000 square feet of tenting
14 intents oct-nov 2021
technically off the course, and that's been
reasonably easy in that it's a lat piece of
land, " he continues. " But the rest of the
course is incredibly hilly, especially on
the back nine. By the 15th, 16th and 17th
holes, we've got some very tall structures
with loors more than 30 feet in height. "
Planning for how the structures sit on
the footprints is helped along by topography
software that maps out measurements
beforehand, but software has
its limitations. " The architects do a lot
of fantastic planning but things do also
evolve on-site, " Gaffney says.
Planning for success
As the Arena Americas team members
began planning for the Ryder Cup, they
were helped along by a very unlikely (albeit
unwelcome) source. " We did a huge
amount of preparation for this event, as
you can imagine, " Gaffney says. " It probably
helped that we weren't as busy as
we would normally have been because of
COVID. Arena Americas picked up some
additional work, such as temporary hospitals,
vaccination centers and construction
tenting but overall having less event
work gave us a bit of extra planning time
for this event, which is good since it's the
irst time we've done it. "
Among the planning agenda items
were devising different COVID-response
scenarios, including planning for no fans
or reduced capacity. " Eventually, we
were able to cancel those plans and prepare
for full capacity, " Gaffney says. " Of
course, we still have COVID-prevention
measures in place in terms of how we
work but we're planning for pretty much
a full-scale event at this point. "
Also spurred by COVID, the labor and
materials shortages are affecting industries
pretty much across the board, and
the tent and event industry is no different.
" Without a doubt, the most challenging
thing in terms of the business are the
labor market and materials shortages, "
Gaffney says. " We use a lot of lumber-
both plywood and beams. Plywood went
up from about $22 a sheet a year ago to
nearly $70 a sheet at its height, though
it has subsequently come back down signiicantly
in recent weeks. That and the
fact that the labor market is so tight are
two of the inancial challenges we face.
Now that COVID restrictions are lifted,
the event industry is back on its feet, so
to speak-which means there's a lot of
demand for people who can build loors
and tents. "
Sigrid Tornquist is a Minneapolis, Minn.-based
writer and editor, and a former InTents editor.

InTents October/November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents October/November 2021

InTents October/November 2021 - Cover1
InTents October/November 2021 - Cover2
InTents October/November 2021 - 1
InTents October/November 2021 - 2
InTents October/November 2021 - 3
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InTents October/November 2021 - Cover3
InTents October/November 2021 - Cover4
InTents October/November 2021 - TentExpoBrochure1
InTents October/November 2021 - TentExpoBrochure2
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InTents October/November 2021 - TentExpoBrochure4
InTents October/November 2021 - TentExpoBrochure5
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