Jul 19, 2023
During the COVID-19 pandemic, extra unemployment money and stimulus checks filled the economy. For many, more money to spend meant more things to buy, but nowhere to put them. “COVID was probably the
During the COVID-19 pandemic, extra unemployment money and stimulus checks filled the economy. For many, more money to spend meant more things to buy, but nowhere to put them.
“COVID was probably the best thing for this business,” said Ned Storm, the owner of Spencerport Personal Storage. “It really was a lot of change in the economy [and] lots of change in people’s lives. And anytime there’s change, people put stuff in storage. They had the stimulus packages and people bought a lot of, you know, things they didn’t really need and they put their stuff in storage. So I found as long as the economy is either going up or going down, the business grows.”
Storm opened his business in 2016 and his property has been growing in popularity for years.
“Altogether we have about 500 units and then seven outdoor parking spots for campers, boats,” he said. “And we’re running right now about 96% full on everything. So we’re getting close to being full.”
Storm says he owes the businesses’ success to the love of his life for inspiring him to get started.
“The whole thing started because I wanted to rent a storage unit for some of my motorcycles,” he said. “And my wife told me, ‘You should sell your bikes.’ And that was fighting words. So how could I make this work? So now we did this and I have my bikes stored and a few extras come along the way.”
Storm uses a few of his units himself. He’s a collector.
“We have all kinds of bikes and parts, and all kinds of race stuff,” he said.
When asked how many bikes he owned, Storm laughed, “I don’t know. Rookies count.”
It’s collectors like himself that led to a boom in the self-storage unit business. Storm often finds little trinkets, memorabilia, and antiques that were left behind in previously-rented units.
“These are all little toys that people have left behind,” Storm said.
Once in a while, he even runs into little pieces of history.
“We call this Uncle Albert,” Storm explained. “It’s dated 19th from 1919. And if you look at the look on his face, you know, he looks just whether tired and beaten. And it didn’t come around until the whole COVID pandemic. That’s from the Spanish flu era and that’s why he looks like that. So that’s like the full circle of the last time COVID came.”
Storm said his business started for a fraction of what it’s worth now, but for him, it was never about the money.
“They ask, ‘Do you take a credit card?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I take cash, check, credit card, or motorcycle parts, but you can’t tell my wife. That’ll do it,’” Storm laughed.