St. Patty potties head to Savannah

 

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Tourists won’t be the only visitors during this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day festival.

Hundreds of toilets from outside Savannah will be stopping by for the four-day celebration, too.

The same company, Florida-based United Site Services, will be providing the portable commodes again for the fifth year in a row after the city received only two non-local bids to provide much-needed relief to the thousands of beer drinking partiers coming to town.

The lack of ability or resources to do the work is a challenge that hinders local hiring.

Mike Hubbard, who took over as general manager of Blu-John of Savannah about one year ago, said he does not have the capacity to handle the St. Patrick’s Day festival. He could have obtained additional port-a-johns and staff for the event, but he said it would not be profitable enough for him.

“We’re getting there, but not quite ready,” he said.

Damon Powell, regional sales manager for United Site Services, said local providers typically lack the necessary resources and are too busy handling day-to-day activities, such construction site jobs, to meet the demands of larger events.

His company, which provides restrooms for the Super Bowl and the president’s inauguration, specializes in them, Powell said.

Powell said Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day festival involves shipping in more than 400 portable toilets from various locations in Georgia and Florida. A crew of six to 10 employees goes on site for about two weeks to set up for the event, work the festival and clean up afterward.

“Your really small local operators don’t have the capabilities to pull off these events,” he said.

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