A True Self Storage Pioneer
It’s easy to jump into a business venture when you know that there is a waiting market, and money to be made – but to have the intestinal fortitude to dip your toes in the water before a concept has been proven, makes one a true pioneer. Rudy Meckel is a pioneer in the self storage industry. When he opened The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township in 1979, storage space rentals were unknown to the area. Meckel had already proven himself an entrepreneur. In addition to running his family’s road construction business, he had ventured into real estate by building the Washington Square West office complex in Egg Harbor Township and the Ridgewood Plaza, a retail strip mall in Northfield.
The Storage Inn started out on four acres with four buildings, designed so they could be converted to a flea market should the new business venture fail. Instead, Meckel’s business prospered. The business offered an especially good fit, as it enabled Meckel to keep his road construction employees working during the off-season. Also considered a gentleman farmer, Meckel has always adorned his grounds with a blue and yellow horse carriage or sleigh. He even had the foresight to construct his buildings with extra high ceilings to offer 20% more storage space per unit than the industry standard, and with 45 different sizes to choose from, this is definitely not a “one size fits all” operation. Now The Storage Inn has 900 units with a total of over 100,000 square feet, along with automobile, boat and RV storage spaces. The Storage Inn has even gone “green” by adding solar power to their Egg Harbor Township facility.
In 1997, Meckel added another location by opening The Storage Inn II in Ocean City, NJ. He converted the former Stainton’s Department Store Annex in Ocean City, into three floors of indoor and climate controlled self storage and retail units.
Meckel’s son, Greg Meckel, and his family, run the businesses with him. The family views the storage business as an opportunity to help people. They serve people who find themselves in life’s transitions and those with long-term storage needs. A great resource for small and big businesses alike to expand and organize. They continue to ensure that the facilities offer customers the best in self storage. In addition to low rental prices, both locations offer free move-in truck rental, free porter service (assistance unloading) and climate control. The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township even has a resident security manager. The Ocean City the facility offers drive-in bays and indoor units, just blocks from the beach!. Meckel’s future plans include continuing to offer new services, along with a customer service experience that always exceeds expectations.
Stay tuned – who knows what this business pioneer will come up with next…