What is a clear span tent structure?  Well, answers.com defines clear span as an open area (height) with no physical obstructions.  What does that mean to an individual or corporation that is interested in renting or buying a clearspan tent structure from American Pavilion?  Clear span tents don’t have any interior support columns to interfere with sight lines, which means that you won’t have a large tent pole inside the tent to get in the way of stages, tables, equipment and anything else that is regularly placed inside.  The entire clear span tent structure is supported by large, aluminum box beams which are then covered with a heavy duty and long lasting flexible vinyl fabric.  The fabric is tensioned to the aluminum support structure in such a way that the clear span tent can be installed for months or even years with very little in the way of maintenance.  Most clear span tents are “staked” to the ground with long steel tent stakes and therefore don’t require the use of ropes or “guy-lines” like you would see on a typical circus style tent.  Also, most clearspan tent structures are designed to withstand severe winds and meet all national building and fire codes.

When referring to clear span tents, another often asked question is why is clearspan spelled differently by so many people?  The correct spelling is two words, “clear” and “span”, which you will see spelled many different ways, such as clear span tent, clearspan tent and even clear-span tent.


How do customers thank you for providing the products and services that you have been contracted to provide?  At American Pavilion we have always felt that payment is thanks enough for a job well done. Often times during follow-up phone calls with clients that have utilized our portable structures or other special event rental equipment, I receive a compliment for a job well done and I consider this the icing on the cake.  It might be a compliment for something an employee did, or the way we handled a particular challenge or even something that I did personally that caught the attention of someone involved.

I have had the opportunity and pleasure to develop lasting relationships with many of our clients over the years and it is easy to understand how these relationships develop. When you consider that I might be interacting with a client all year long during the planning stage and then spend anywhere from a few days to a month or more on the job-site overseeing the installation of our clearspan portable structuresportable air-conditioners or any of the other special event services that American Pavilion supplies.  Payment is nice but a little icing from the cake always gives me a smile and it’s what keeps me coming back into my office excited and ready for the day’s challenges.


I am often asked by clients what the biggest change in the tent rental industry has been since my great-grandfather founded American Pavilion in 1902.  One major change has been the growth in the use of rental tents over the past 100 years.  In the early 1900’s, while some tents were used for social events such as weddings the biggest tent renters were county and state fairs and Chautauqua’s.  While we all know about fairs and festivals, Chautauqua’s traveled the country in the late 19th and early 20th century providing speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day, all under large canvas tents.  Rental Tents are now used for a wide variety of events such as corporate meetings, sporting events, fundraisers, graduations, weddings, military training and disaster relief.

The second major change in the tent rental industry is the type of fabric used in rental tents today.  Canvas tents are long gone and extremely strong, flexible vinyl fabrics have taken their place.  Vinyl tent fabrics are generally manufactured to be flame resistant, mildew resistant and have UV light inhibitors impregnated into the vinyl to resist degradation from the sun.  It doesn’t matter if the tent is a clear span, tension, frame or pole style, it will probably use one of two types of vinyl; laminated or coated.  The vinyl laminate is manufactured by sandwiching two layers of vinyl over a polyester or nylon mesh and using heat or pressure to fuse it together.  Coated vinyl, the type that American Pavilion uses, is manufactured by covering a polyester mesh with liquid vinyl on both sides and then letting the vinyl cool and harden.

While the coated fabrics are usually more expensive to purchase (up to double the cost of laminates) they are superior in many respects for the tent rental industry mainly due to their strength and ability to resist pin holes.