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‘Modest growth’ predicted for Region Seven in 2024

By Connie Lannan

December 1, 2023

Andrew Heesacker, ECP-SM

Andrew Heesacker, ECP-SM

While 2023 was “fairly strong” for equipment and event rental businesses in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Seven Director Andrew Heesacker, ECP-SM, president/CEO of Arvada Rent-Alls, Arvada, Colo., is anticipating “a little more modest growth in 2024.”

“I don’t see as much growth as what there was from 2021 to 2022 or from 2022 to 2023. I still see growth for equipment and event rental operators, but at a more cautious, modest level. There are still a lot of moving pieces, such as the price of equipment, supply chain and interest rates,” he says.

Contributing to that outlook, especially on the equipment side, Heesacker has witnessed some softening, especially in the homeowner area. “People are more pinched right now with groceries being more expensive and rent at an all-time high. The cost of things and wages are not always in line. Whereas in 2020 and 2021, there were a lot of people working on their houses because they couldn’t go anywhere. With all that pent-up demand, a lot of people are now spending any disposable income on travel and going out. They aren’t putting it back into their houses,” he says.

He is watching “interest rates, obviously first and foremost. I also am watching the amount of construction projects that start into the new year and the supply chain — how quickly machines are getting here. We have had some manufacturers have some fleet free up quicker than expected, which is a good sign. Previously, a lot of manufacturers had wait times of 12 to 24 months. Now the turnaround is a little quicker, more like three to six months,” he says.

The event side of the aisle also could be impacted by those uncertainties. “I know event rental operators in our region have been busy this year. They, like their equipment rental counterparts, anticipate growth next year, but perhaps a little more modest than this past year,” he says.

To help both equipment and event rental operators navigate the coming year in the most successful manner, Heesacker encourages all rental operators to “set a plan, stay in contact with your local chamber, your ARA state chapter and your rental peers. Look forward but be willing to adjust. I have always loved the quote by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, ‘In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.’ You can plan, but you have to be flexible when changes occur.”