The option of renting is still the easier and most resource-efficient method of obtaining something for occasional use.

– Mike Sharpe, President

AAYS Original Building

1950: Hertz Truck Rental

AAYS story begins with a Hertz Truck Rental in the 1950’s. At the time, it was one of only four Hertz locations in the US with the others in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. Burt Liss, who was the owner of the Hertz South Bend location, was the first in the nation to begin renting general rental items, such as hand tools and chairs, along with his Hertz trucks.

1966: AAYS Is Born 

In 1966 Jim (J.W.) Sharpe bought the general rental side of the company, having the only general rental store within a 75-mile radius. Interesting fact: J.W.’s first rental to the University of Notre Dame was wooden folding chairs in 1967. He and his wife, Terri, began adding tables, chairs, dishes, electronics, highchairs, walkers, and even hospital beds to the inventory. However, it was the rental of tools that carried the company in the beginning.

AAYS Founder With Early Rental Equipment 1960s
Founders At ARA Show In 1967

1980: Two Divisions

J.W. and Terri’s three sons, Jim, Mike, and Tim, worked alongside them and joined the company full-time after college. Due to economic demands and the ever-growing inventories, in the 1980’s it was separated into two divisions - party and banquet rentals and tool rentals. Following J.W. and Terri’s retirement, Jim and Mike began overseeing the party and banquet rentals of tents, tables, chairs, china, etc. and Tim the tool division with scaffolding, compressors, generators, bobcats, chainsaws, etc.

2017: The New AAYS

In 2017, the tool division was dissolved, and Sharpe’s began focusing exclusively on event rental; rebranding the company as AAYS Event Rentals. Having amassed event rental items of over 450,000 sq ft of tents, over 5,000 tables, over 40,000 chairs, and over 5,000 individual place settings, the size and scope of their capabilities are astounding. Today, over 50 years in business, whether known as South Bend Rent-All, Aay’s Rent-All, or AAYS Event Rental, the company remains family owned and operated and holds the largest, most extensive, inventory in the Michiana area. As the areas premier rental company, AAYS continues to fulfill rental needs with the leading-edge products, professionalism, and the integrity the industry requires.

AAYS Newly Renovated Building 2017

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