If you’re a fan of RYOBI Nation and receive their newsfeeds through social media channels, you may already know about a brand-new project contest that started last weekend. Or, maybe you’ve caught the new Home Depot commercial on TV announcing your chance to build the “Ultimate Party Station” and win $1,000 worth of RYOBI tools.
What may have come as the bigger surprise is that Woodworker’s Journal and RYOBI are partnering on this contest. It’s the first opportunity our magazine has had to participate in a co-branded effort of this nature, merging RYOBI’s tool expertise with our project design and building experience. Woodworker’s Journal drafted original plans for the Party Station featured in RYOBI’s promotional efforts, and created the step-by-step instructions and a series of how-to photos so you can build the same cart for your home. The wheeled cart features a slide-open top serving area, plus a deep internal compartment to stow a cooler and ice bucket. To see those plans, in either an “easy” or an “advanced” version and download them, click here.
But Jason Swanson, RYOBI’s vice president of communications and PR, hopes that you will take these project plans as the step-off inspiration for creating a patio cart that none of your neighbors can beat. If you can design a better cart than our “Ultimate” version, Swanson wants you to show him what you can do. Speakers, flat-screen TV, mag wheels, plumbing, remote control … whatever you can dream up, the sky is the limit.
“Our inspiration behind this Party Station contest is what I’ll call youth-ism. We want young DIYers to feel inspired and excited to build together. Not only will contestants enjoy their Party Station for seasons to come, but they’ll remember building their amazing cart forever!”
In an effort to boost enthusiasm for the contest even more, RYOBI has created a humorous promotional video featuring TV celebrity Tom Bury, the construction manager of Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible” reality series. The video depicts a couple of neighbors in need of a project goal. Their effort, under Tom’s coaching and with the help of some neighborhood friends, is the Ultimate Party Station.
Woodworker’s Journal staffers Chris Marshall and Dan Cary were on location for the video shoot in March, which took place in Anderson, South Carolina. RYOBI is headquartered there, within the parent company TTI. Aside from watching the video being shot, we had an opportunity to tour RYOBI’s million-square-foot facility where nearly every aspect of its business takes place.
“Our development, design, sales, marketing, logistics and several other departments, including warehousing, all happen here,” Swanson says. Efforts at the Anderson facility help RYOBI bring 25 new tools to the consumer market each year, which results in around 1 million tools sold annually.
Swanson certainly hopes that the tools you use to build your Ultimate Party Station might be RYOBI’s lime green versions, but any power or hand tools you have in your inventory are fair game to help build your version of the contest cart.
While you are encouraged to dream big as you create your Ultimate Party Station, there is one stipulation: time. This contest runs through May and June only.
“Every contestant who enters a cart project will receive a free ‘I Built the RYOBI Nation Party Station’ T-shirt,” Swanson says. “There will also be two $1,000 RYOBI tool winners. The first will be chosen at the end of May, and the second at the end of June.”
Contest grand prize winners will be notified through RYOBI Nation social media updates, eBlasts and by email.
For those unfamiliar with other RYOBI Nation building contests, the Ultimate Party Station is one of many ongoing opportunities for DIYers and woodworkers to showcase their building skills. Every month, RYOBI issues a new themed contest open to anyone, and the winner receives $500 in RYOBI tools. To learn more about previous contests and winning projects, or to keep current about the latest contest, click the “Contest” tab on RYOBI Nation’s homepage.
Swanson and the team at RYOBI, as well as all of us at Woodworker’s Journal, hope the response to this Party Station contest will be lively — and that entries will show the depth of your creativity and ingenuity as a project designer and builder. And, of course, in the end you’ll create a fun and useful conversation piece for the yard, deck or patio this summer.
“Woodworker’s Journal has been a great partner in creating this Party Station,” Swanson adds. “We can’t wait to partner with the magazine again on another project.”