Group buys Swell Event Rental; changes name to Ray Event & Tent Rental

WICHITA — After reading a December Have You Heard? item about Swell Event Rental being for sale, Sharon Van Horn and a couple of friends decided to contact owner Tiffany Sporn about buying the business.

“That started the conversation,” Van Horn says.

She and Melissa Hennen and Eddy Frederick decided to buy the business, which used to be known as Ray Party Rental. It now will be known as Ray Event & Tent Rental.

“We went back to the Ray name because it is such a tried and true and trusted name in event rental,” Van Horn says. “It’s been around since the ’30s.”

The business currently is at 2033 E. Northern but Van Horn says she and her partners eventually might like to be back in the downtown area where Ray Party Rental was for decades.

“We’re very big downtown supporters, and we would love to be in the downtown area eventually.”

Van Horn has Van Horn Promotion & Marketing, which she intends to keep, and handles a lot of corporate events. Now, she says, she can supply rental items for those events.

“I’m just adding another layer to my life.”

She’ll also handle marketing and promotion for Ray Event & Tent Rental.

Hennen also has a background in marketing. She’ll be in charge of Ray’s operations.

Frederick, who owns Buckley Roofing, is an investor and will help oversee the event business.

“He is just a great businessman,” Van Horn says.

She says Sporn is staying at the business for a while, “making the transition easy.”

“Melissa and I are both hometown girls … and are so excited to be in the business,” Van Horn says. “Our excitement level is kind of over the top.”


Swell Event Rental for sale

WICHITA — Tiffany Sporn has decided to try to sell her Swell Event Rental, which was known as Ray Party Rental until she changed the name last year.

“I kind of fell into this company by default,” says Sporn, who took over the business in 2009 after her father died.

Sporn was a hospice nurse before that, and she’s also a widowed mother of four.

“It’s just tough,” she says. “I’m really tired of trying to juggle it. It’s not my true passion and love.”

Sporn, who likely will return to nursing, says she has two potential buyers.

“We’ve got a pretty long history in the community and a nice, large client list that would be beneficial to anyone who purchased the business for sure,” she says.

The business is at 2033 E. Northern.

Sporn says she’s open to any buyer at this point even though there are already two potential ones.

“Absolutely, you bet. Until you have cash in hand, it’s still available.”

Dent Busters consolidates into one space

WICHITA — Tracy Marsh is in the process of consolidating his two Dent Busters shops.

He’s already moved his paintless dent repair and automotive detail business from 149 N. Osage in Delano to the former Ray Party Rental space at 406 S. Market.

By the end of the month, he plans to move his body shop business from 423 S. St. Francis to the new space.

“We just needed to be together,” Marsh says. “It’ll speed up production. It’ll give us room to grow.”

The space is 24,000 square feet, including 12,000 square feet in a drive-in basement.

“We’re leasing right now,” Marsh says. “We needed to see how the building would work for us.”

He says he’s looked for new space for four years.

“Buildings that we can utilize are kind of hard to find.”

In addition to having a big enough space and one that can fit automotive needs, Marsh says he particularly wanted something with good drive-by traffic. He says most shops and buildings he found were in industrial areas.

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