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April 17, 2021American Tent Life

Have you ever wrestled a Nile river crocodile? BASE jumped off the Dolomites? Have you ever dined on Hakarl? Well, neither has Pete McVey. But chances are he’s put up a heck of a lot more tents than you have. After all, he’s been doing this for nearly 50 years. 

pete giving a thumbs up

American Tent is thrilled to have the guru himself on our team. Pete is here to help with continuous improvement efforts and to critique all of our products and processes from the point of view of a tent rental company owner. (Remember how we didn’t use to install our sidewall ropes in our tent tops? Well, thanks to Pete, now we do!) After a year of unprecedented growth, American Tent relies on Pete to help us stay true to our customer-focused mission. So pass the shark meat and meet Pete McVey, experienced tenter and safety watchman.

Five Fast Facts about Pete:

He single-handedly brought beards back into fashion: Okay, maybe this isn’t quite a fact, but Pete’s beard has always been in style as far as we’re concerned. Even better, Pete can tell you the wind speed just by letting his beard flow in the breeze. 

Pete headshot standing on the beach

Safety is first, second, and third: You don’t need to know Pete well to know that safety is his utmost priority. There’s a reason he hates ladders: It’s not that he’s afraid of heights (he’s not), it’s that ladders are monuments to OSHA reports. Safety is so important to Pete that he’s developed methods of tent set up that specifically minimuse ladder use. Also, have you ever heard of Diggers Hotline or 8-1-1? If you’ve spent even 30 seconds in an elevator with Pete, chances are you’ll never forget to call 8-1-1 before driving stakes into the ground again. 

 . . . Except when it comes to his own safety: Work is one thing, play is another. While Pete will fire you on the spot for not making safe choices, after hours he has no problem caging himself inside a hotrod and driving like the Devil himself is chasing after him on the short track. 

pete standing next to his racecar

What doesn’t exist, Pete invents: Pete is not only a tent expert, a tent safety expert, and an industry icon, he also builds better mousetraps, so to speak. He’s invented the ideal frame jack as well as apps and safety equipment. 

Pete’s Products will be available here soon: American Tent is thrilled to expand our product listings to include Pete-picked accessories like his favorite flooring, stake drivers and pullers, and his own line of products. Stay tuned for information on these exciting developments.

If this piqued your Pete interest, please know that he is available for tent schools, demonstrations, and general guidance pretty much 24/7. American Tent has certainly learned a lot from him, and we know our clients will, too. 

tent instructor leading crew
Tony Ehrbar's headshot

Tony Ehrbar

Owner & CEO

Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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