Mobile Party

Two entrepreneurs take corporate hospitality on the road.

The popularity of food trucks in recent years has propelled a new offshoot: food trailers. After hosting a tailgate event at a Jimmy Buffet concert and finding the logistics of dealing with six separate vendors challenging, Kristin Falconer hit upon a novel idea — an all-inclusive mobile corporate hospitality experience.

In partnership with Lindsay Freda, her best friend since middle school, Falconer developed two tailgate trailers, along with a mobile kitchen, that the duo rents for sporting events, corporate outings, concerts, and other activities. A 6-by-12-foot tailgate trailer rents for $1,100 per day (up to 12 hours) and includes a 50-inch flat-panel television with surround sound and a DVD player, a grill, a generator, a small bathroom, and other offerings.

There’s a $275 delivery and set-up fee that is good for up to 50 miles per round trip, along with separate charges for any tents, canopies, tables, chairs, a larger gas grill, or other amenities. The company provides a list of caterers that offer everything from Italian to Middle Eastern to American cuisine.

“We refer to it as a mobile party in a box,” says Falconer, principal of Trailer Events in Troy. “Most events have a lot of moving parts, especially if you don’t own the event equipment or you don’t want your staff to be overloaded with planning for a party. What we offer is a turnkey operation.”

Most recently, the pair rented one of their tailgate trailers for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium, set for New Year’s Day. The competition, which pits the Detroit Red Wings against the Toronto Maple Leafs, is expected to draw the largest crowd ever for an outdoor hockey game. The current record of 104,173 spectators was set at Michigan Stadium in 2010 for a hockey game between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

“Some of our most popular events are Detroit Lions home games, the (Woodward) Dream Cruise, NASCAR races at the Michigan International Speedway, and concerts,” Freda says.

In addition, the pair is eyeing rentals during the Hockeytown Winter Festival, to take place in downtown Detroit starting in mid-December. More than 250,000 fans are expected to attend a series of outdoor activities including various high school and college hockey games on a rink set up on the field of Comerica Park, as well as an alumni showdown between the Wings and Leafs. The events serve as a prelude to the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor.

The mobile kitchen, meanwhile, is available for extended rentals such as a summer camp or a cafeteria that is undergoing a renovation. The 8-by-12-foot mobile kitchen, which includes a flattop griddle with an oven, a lava rock char broiler, a refrigerator, a freezer, and other equipment, rents for $6,800 per month. db