By Ryan Wynne
After more than 20 years in Skagit County, the events rental company Pacific Party Canopies will expand into Whatcom County in mid January.
The business has an inventory that includes tents, canopies, dishware, staging and even inflatable bouncy houses. Pacific Party Canopies is headquartered in Burlington, and will open a second location in the 7,000-square-foot space that used to house Walkers Carpet One at 2007 N. State St. It is tentatively scheduled to open Jan. 17.
“We are very busily getting everything prepared,” said Jeff Watts, senior sales associate and rental expert at the company. “We feel that by being in the neighborhood, if you will, that we will have the opportunity to serve more clientele.”
The rental company already has a client base in Whatcom County ― Watts estimated that 20 percent of its business comes from this area. He said the company has been considering opening a second location in Whatcom County for two to three years, and got close to doing so last year in the same location.
“It has been a dream, I guess, for a while,” he said.
The expansion doesn’t signify major growth at the business, though, Watts said. The business relies on disposable income, of which not many people have these days.
“No, we didn’t have a booming year,” he said. “We didn’t do bad, but it wasn’t a breakout year by any stretch.”
But Watts said the company doesn’t expect the economic downturn to last forever, and with the new location they will be ready when the recovery comes.
The location won’t just serve Whatcom residents. Watts said Pacific Party Canopies has clients from Blaine to Seattle to the San Juan Island, and the new location will be different than their current 20,000-square-foot space in Burlington, which is more like a warehouse and is a little out of the way, Watts said.
“We have walk-in clientele, but it’s not on the beaten path,” he said.
The business doesn’t plan to hire new employees immediately ― January is the offseason for events rentals, Watts said. April and May are generally busier, though, and the company will hire as needed, he said.
For more information, call (360) 707-2115 or visit www.pacificpartycanopies.com.