Thanks to Rockin’ Rents, a new Columbia-based rental company, this year’s Mid-Missouri PrideFest will have more activities for kids than ever before.
Rockin’ Rents will be on hand August 18 with a bounce house, an inflatable obstacle course and more in the children’s area.
Rockin’ Rents specializes in special event rentals, including a variety of bounce houses, water slides, inflatable obstacle courses, popcorn and snow cone machines, and general event services.
Columbia residents Jeremy and Kara Truitt decided to start Rockin’ Rents in late 2012. Jeremy Truitt says they tried to rent a bounce house for their then-7 year old son and found that the cost was ridiculously high.
“…one company doesn’t deliver, one company delivered for an extra $60 and another delivered for an extra $125 or so,” their website states. “We got really frustrated when we couldn’t rent a simple bounce house for under $250. That’s ridiculous. As such, we decided to change it.”
Rockin’ Rents delivers within Columbia city limits for free, plus they set up and tear down the equipment at no cost.
Part of Rockin’ Rents’ mission is to give back to the community through non-profits and charities. In addition to Mid-Missouri PrideFest, Rockin’ Rents supports 5K Heart of Missouri Girls on the Run, an organization that helps girls develop healthy relationships and high self-esteem. Also, Rockin’ Rents plans to donate 10 percent of its gross revenue in September — which is Suicide Prevention Month — to a local nonprofit that deals with suicide prevention for young kids and teens.
“Owning a business affords us the ability to do stuff like that,” Truitt says. “Since growth has been faster than we planned, we really want to give back. The eventual goal is to give 10 percent of our annual revenue to non-profits and charities.”
Truitt bought 5 units to start — at no small expense to him and his wife. Even lower-end bounce houses generally cost more than $1,000. Now Rockin’ Rents has expanded to nine units, with plans to buy more in the near future.
“Our business plan accounted for 3-4 rentals per month,” Truitt says. “We’re now doing 6-7 every weekend.”
Although it’s very physically demanding work (one of the units weighs about 900 lbs.), Truitt says it’s a very gratifying business to be in.
“The best part is the happiness from the kids,” he says. “It’s such a fun business.”
With the business growing much faster than expected, Truitt says they plan to expand their catalog to become a one-stop-shop for mid-Missouri’s party needs. Looking forward, Truitt has been eyeing a 33-foot Slip ‘N’ Slide, another obstacle course, a dunk tank and some interactive games like human bowling and a velcro wall.
“The ultimate goal down the road is that someone can call us from anywhere in central Missouri and we have everything,” Truitt says. “Birthday parties, family reunions, corporate functions. There’s nothing we can’t provide.”
Visit the Rockin’ Rents website for more information. Visit our donation page to help make PrideFest the best it can be!