CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For the second straight holiday season, a Huntington rental company will provide the party tent for receptions at the Governor's Mansion.Administration officials have signed a $24,500 lease agreement with A-to-Z Rentals to supply the 40-foot by 50-foot, 10-foot tall tent, to be located in the rear courtyard of the mansion.Under the agreement, the tent is to be installed Nov. 24 and will remain through mid-March.Last year, the state paid A-to-Z $21,927 to lease a tent, although last year's rental ended about two weeks earlier. The use of the tent will be extended later into March in 2013 to coincide with the late start for the legislative session.The tent will see additional duties in January, with events surrounding Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's inauguration to a four-year term.
More immediately, the tent will play host to five holiday parties at the Governor's Mansion. Those fetes are scheduled for Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 8, 13, and 15, according to Tomblin spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin.In addition to the tent, the rental contract provides for lighting -- including six 48-foot light strings within the tent -- two 80-foot 12-gauge power cords, installation of a temporary plywood floor covered with black indoor-outdoor carpet, and six propane space heaters, plus fuel.It also provides for a 9-foot by 14-foot tent to create a covered entry from the mansion's north patio to the main tent, as well as a second tent to provide a covered service entrance into the main tent.From 2007 through 2011, then-Gov. Joe Manchin hosted holiday parties in a much larger, 4,000-square foot tent purchased from A-to-Z Rentals at a cost of $126,428.That tent, and an accompanying restroom trailer, were sold for $54,111 in an Internet auction in April 2011.Reach Phil Kabler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1220.