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A tent as a permanent event center

Projects | July 1, 2024 | By:

In 2023 DoubleTree Hotel in Chesterfield, Mo., found that installing a permanent, climate-controlled tent could add a 400-capacity event center to its offerings without the time frames and expense that would have been needed for constructing a whole new bricks-and-mortar building.

The tent structure was designed and installed by Traube Tent Co. Inc. based out of Columbia, Ill., and was manufactured by HTS TENTIQ in Germany. The venue is 6,500 square feet, with an open floor plan, vaulted ceiling of 23 feet and a covered veranda patio bar.

The structure arrived in three sealed 40-foot oceangoing containers. “More than 4,000 parts and pieces were methodically laid out in the hotel’s parking lot to prepare for construction of the building,” says David MacArthur, project manager/sales for Traube Tent. “The eight 75-foot-wide aluminum box beam framing trusses with bracing were assembled and pancake-stacked in the parking lot so that, one by one, a 200-foot crane could lift the whole truss assembly 80 feet high and swing it over to the parking lot to the concrete event pad.” 

The crew took eight days to erect and enclose the tent structure, making it ready for tradespeople to come and install electric, HVAC, fire suppression systems and lighting.

“From the time of confirming their order to the time of the event center’s grand opening, it took only seven months to deliver a magnificent new event space,” MacArthur says. Beyond the time and cost savings, there was another reason the hotel opted for a tent rather than a traditional building. “We wanted to keep the same feel of a whimsical tent,” explains Chad Smith, vice president design, construction and facilities at Lodging Hospitality Management in St. Louis, Mo., who worked for DoubleTree. “Many wedding guests actually prefer that over a ballroom space.”

MacArthur agrees. “The hotel owners recognize that people just naturally have more fun in tents than in any other setting.”

Project name: DoubleTree Hotel Event Center

Location: Chesterfield, Mo.

Design/installation: Traube Tent Co. Inc., Columbia, Ill.

Fabrication: HTS TENTIQ

Size: 6,500 square feet

Fabric: Sattler POLYPLAN opaque; HTS TENTIQ, sandwich and glass walls

Images: Traube Tent Co. Inc./Tom Paule Photography

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