Is a Hippopotamus Really a Hippopotamus, or a Really Cool Opotamus?

Quiz buttonThat’s right, everybody, it’s Trivia Tuesday. Get those synapses firing and press your luck for the chance to win one of our highly coveted Storage Unit Auction List coffee mugs. The temp outside is just going to keep dropping wherever you are out there, so let us know what you think the answer is and get yourself the proper coffee-and/or-hot-chocolate-carrying device. Hold the phone—there’s more to today’s riddle than the query above. First, some suspenseful buildup.

The rapid expansion of the US based, self-storage industry is no joke, to put it bluntly. As of Q2 of 2013, over 4/5ths of the counties in the States have one or more primary storage facilities.  It might have been a slow but steady climb for the first quarter-century of the business—taking that long to develop its first billion square feet of storage space throughout the land. Only eight years afterwards, however, that amount doubled, claiming more than three times the footprint of Manhattan, NY. Not bad, cutting the rate of expansion by over 1/3rd.

Thanks to the good people and fact finders over at the Self-Storage Association, it’s easy to see how the world of self-storage has solidified itself as one of the fastest growing commercial real estate divisions in the country. In property taxes alone, it generates well over $3 billion in property taxes. That is certainly nothing to scoff at. But back to the pop quiz:

Just under 9% of American Households have at least one storage unit (as of June of this year), an increase of about 6% from 18 years back. Storage lockers have become a near necessity for John and Jane Q. Public. Almost half of the current renting pool have a home with an attic; two-thirds have a garage at their residence; and one-third have a basement for storage. Despite this extra storage space, though, over 10 million US households are renting lockers. We can save this stat’s implications of excessive consumerism in this country for another discussion. For today, let’s simply marvel at the undeniable prominence of this industry as a whole.

Veteran's Day Okay, no more delays. In deference to last week’s patriotic holiday, here ya go: You have already sampled the industry’s impressive size and, thanks to Ryan Lerman and the SSA, ya know there is over 48,500 self-storage facilities in the US. How many of the units that these facilities house are currently rented to military personnel?

Special bonus points will be awarded to any of you out there who can also provide the best retort to the title question. Best of luck and happy hunting.