It’s not every city that can provide a supply of sunshine perfect enough for a party year-round. But here in Lakeland, we are just so lucky. The generous warmth this land o’ lakes pours on us is more often than not the ideal setting for an outdoor celebration in any season (if you negate Florida’s minor monsoons come summer). But, of course, what is a party without those certain elements that create the ambiance, bring everything up a notch, and essentially make a party? For Lakelanders, Premier Party Rentals is such a place, if not the place, that elevates any celebration to a memorable occasion. Known for its unique lighting and dreamy tents, Premier Party Rentals wouldn’t be throwing the lavish celebrations, and Lakeland wouldn’t be able to party in this stately fashion, without the man behind the tent — owner Scott Wade.
The Lakelander: Are you an original Lakelander?
Scott Wade: Actually, I’m from Southern California, born and raised. California is a great place to get away, a great place to visit. But living there just wasn’t for me. Back in the ’80s when I worked there, a mere room rental was over $800. Most people assume life in Southern Cali is a breeze, that we’re always surfing [in the sunshine]. But when you have to keep up with the West Coast cost of living, the workplace is much more fast-paced than many think. If you’re looking for a place to live and enjoy the beautiful outdoors, Lakeland is such a place. I’m happy to call Lakeland home!
TL: Since you opened Premier Party Rentals, the company has provided Lakeland, on countless occasions, all the necessary accouterments to throw a truly memorable party. What interested you about the party rental business?
SW: I always liked the idea of owning my own business and at a certain point was just ready to be on my own schedule. I had grown tired of working a desk job day-in and day-out. Sixteen years of working in corporate America will do that to you. So I quit the desk job and traveled (in my RV) around the country to figure out what my next step would be. My cousin owns a similar business in Michigan and encouraged me to start my own. I had lived in Lakeland previously and always loved it, and I saw that Lakeland was in need of a party rental business to provide a higher quality in its supply.
TL: Well, it certainly has done that. What does a given week look like for Premier Party Rentals?
SW: We move pretty quickly. A slow week for us is about 20 events a week, but slow weeks aren’t so common. We have 10 full-time employees — four crews that run the parties every week. And our clients cover all of Lakeland, Polk County, even into Tampa and other areas in Central Florida. We are always on the move.
TL: What do you enjoy most about a job that is always putting on a party?
SW: Ninety-nine percent of the people are always happy. Who’s not happy at a party? That, and I really like to see everything come together. I enjoy the details of the event and watching it from the ground up. We’re always meeting great people and working at fun events, like the Sun ‘n Fun one coming up.
TL: Did you always plan on running and owning your own business?
SW: I was brought up in a self-employed family, so I had always been familiar with it, always comfortable with the idea. And I actually owned a
business before Premier Party. I owned a restaurant business in Lakeland for a few years, the first time I came to Lakeland. So I knew I enjoyed
running an independent business but was ready to try something different.
TL: Since Lakeland has brought you back for the second time, would you now say you consider yourself a Lakelander?
SW: Definitely. I love living in Lakeland! The people are great. It’s always beautiful, and downtown Lakeland does a fantastic job of engaging community and maintaining everything that makes this such a great place to live. I really hated leaving the first time, so I was more than eager to get back here. Coming from Southern Cali, I always have to be on the water. In fact, my house is on the water here. And if I can’t be on the ocean, I might as well be in Lakeland.
Premier Party Rentals
553 W. Brannen Rd. • Lakeland, FL 33813 • 863.644.3000