- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
June 14, 2019
When Garner Hansen started Dakota Entertainment in 1994, it was simply a DJ business that he used to supplement his teacher’s income.
“It just kind of took off from there,” he said.
The Brookings native and SDSU alumnus has expanded his business, which he now operates from his acreage near Harrisburg, to include equipment for parties of all sizes that is sure to entertain any age group.
In February, Dakota Entertainment bought out all of Carolan Rental’s assets when the company went out of business, which added a number of things to Hansen’s growing party stock. New additions include tables, chairs, tents and trucks.
“We can bring an entire party right there to the backyard,” Hansen said.
Some of the unique items in the Dakota Entertainment arsenal are a mechanical bull, dunk tank, laser tag, 24-foot rock wall and the Euro Bungee, which Hansen said has been a big hit at kids’ parties.
The buyout also helped expand the types of concession machines Dakota Entertainment can offer — it now includes an ice cream machine and multiple shaved ice machines.
Hansen works alongside two other full-time employees and hires part-time event staff based on the size of the party or the types of rentals. Usually, Hansen said customers can just come pick up their rentals, but sometimes the company helps with set-up and tear-down operations, especially in the case of the mechanical bull, which requires a full-time Dakota Entertainment operator.
The company is busy year-round, with weddings, corporate events and birthday parties in the summer, school events in the fall, company Christmas or New Year parties in the winter and graduations and proms in the spring.
“We’ve gotten to the point where we don’t have slow seasons anymore because of the kinds of things that we can offer,” Hansen said.
Hansen said one of the best things about the vast inventory is the different types of entertainment being sought out, citing game show equipment as an increasingly popular rental.
Dakota Entertainment has light and sound systems equipped to bring “Family Feud” style trivia games and “Minute to Win It” contests to any party, but Hansen said they’ve become prominent at adult parties or other events where inflatables wouldn’t otherwise be the main attraction.
Hansen said he has always loved DJing, something he has done for almost 25 years now, but it’s fun to watch adults relax outside of the work environment and get into the friendly spirit of competition with their co-workers.
“As a business, we’re just trying to provide entertainment,” Hansen said. “We’ve worked with such a wide variety of events — from just a small kid’s backyard birthday party to a full-blown corporate event — there’s a lot of unique opportunities we can provide, and that’s what we strive to do.”
Though the Carolan Rental website is still operational for now, Hansen said the easiest way for people to get information about Dakota Entertainment rentals is through either the dakotaentertainment.com or dakotainflatables.net websites. The company Facebook page is also a good source for staying up to date on upcoming offers or discounts.
From a bungee jump to a ride on a mechanical bull, Dakota Entertainment has added tons of new offerings thanks to a big buyout.