ST. LOUIS – Party rental companies are feeling the hurt amid the pandemic.
“It was going great until COVID happened,” said Rick Nadler, owner of Grand Rental Station. “We’re down; we’re down a lot. We are used to doing big events, events for hundreds of people to thousands of people. But now, with events of 25, it makes it challenging.”
There’s more stress with COVID-19 cases going up before Thanksgiving. Dawn Weinhardt, owner of Weinhardt Party Rentals, says there are options.
“Thanksgiving is our busiest holiday pretty much because everyone celebrates Thanksgiving, so what I would suggest is there is no reason you can’t have a Thanksgiving celebration, but maybe have it with just your immediate family or close family group,” Weinhardt said. “You can still have a beautiful dinner and wonderful time.”
The CDC recommends smaller gatherings to lower the risk of transmission. The safest gathering place being outside.
With colder weather back in the forecast, many are turning to tents to feel safe outside during COVID-19. However, it’s important to note there are risks to pitching a tent and thinking you will avoid the spread.
“Once you start putting sides on the tent and heat in it, then you are kind of putting yourself in an enclosed space,” Weinhardt said.
“It certainly works better if you can keep it open,” Nadler says. “The thing that you can do is when you have the bigger space you can allow for more social distancing so there’s a benefit to that, but if you can keep it open, it is certainly to your benefit.”
An enclosed tent just makes for an enclosed space that’s moved outside. For those opting for the safer route of small family gatherings at home, Weinhardt Party Rentals can still help.
“The best thing is you can rent China from us or table cloths and things like that. All you have to do is scrape it off and send it back to us,” Weinhardt said. “So, you don’t even have to do the dishes afterwards.”
Both Weinhardt and Grand Rental Station have taken extra precautions amid the pandemic to make customers and employees safe, with extra sanitization, contactless drop off and pick up, and packaged and sealed products.
The companies expressed that 2021 is the light at the end of the tunnel. Both expect 2021 to be busy with parties and gatherings getting closer to normal. They don’t expect this immediately but by the middle of next year, as long as it is safe for everyone.