Local company stretches business beyond the valley

When Peak Stretch Tents opened in Victor three years ago, Teton Valley was home to only the second company of its kind in the U.S.

Business owner Brendon McHargue said the last time he checked, the number of stretch tent rental companies in the country had tripled, but the competition hasn’t slowed him down.

“We doubled business this year,” McHargue said, “and I expect that will continue to happen. It’s been snowballing.”

McHargue, a carpenter and builder by trade, discovered stretch tents while looking for a fabric to use as a shade structure on his boat to keep his kids covered.

“I thought they were pretty cool,” McHargue said, “so I bought a couple.”

Business was slow-going at first as the company struggled to attract clients for a product few knew existed. The annual Moose Cross bike race festival was McHargue’s first client, and since starting locally, he’s expanded to service Jackson Hole and beyond. Just recently he was hired for an event in Big Sky, Montana.

McHargue said one woman who hired him in Jackson has been a repeat customer several times over, and has referred him to friends and family. The stretch tents present at this year’s JH Live music festival were McHargue’s handiwork, and Peak Tents was also an event sponsor.

McHargue says the beauty of stretch tents, which originated in South Africa, is their versatility and unique aesthetic style. Typical outdoor tents, he said, tend to be dirty-looking, have an unpleasant boxed-in feeling and scratched plastic sides.

Stretch tents are “more organic and have a more natural, free-form feel.”

“We can do pretty much anything,” McHargue said. From constructing tents in the trees or attaching them to houses, McHargue said it’s “a custom installation every time.”

Get used to seeing more stretch tents around the area and throughout the country. After working recently with a group of event producers, McHargue was asked if he’d be willing to travel to Chicago and New York to provide tents for future events. He said yes.

Stretch tents are a popular addition to family gatherings, weddings, and corporate events. McHargue says the sooner the better for reserving a tent, especially during the warmest summer months.