Public Storage Rose Parade float 2014

The Public Storage float "Adventures in Space," won the Grand Marshal's award for excellence in creative concept and design at the Rose Parade in Pasadena on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / January 1, 2014)

Public Storage is giving new meaning to the word “collaboration” with its 2014 entry into the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena this Wednesday.

The Glendale-based company invited employees from 33 regional centers across the country to help decorate a part of its inaugural float, titled “Adventures in Space” and featuring a “secret message” from the “mother ship” that will be spelled out in an alien alphabet.

Each center was sent a letter that is part of the message, and workers decorated each one in yellow straw flowers.

Employees in centers in New York, Washington, D.C., Miami, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Chicago and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. were just a few of the contributing float designers, according to David Collins, Public Storage’s director of corporate marketing.

“One of the things that was important to us is that the whole company was able to participate in this,” Collins said. “We have 2,200 locations and 5,000 employees. We didn’t want this to be something just for Southern California. We wanted everyone in the company to see this rolling down Colorado Boulevard and feel like this was their float.”

Thirty-three cities and dozens of states participated.

“It’s truly a nationwide effort,” Collins said. “We want the ones who can make it to Pasadena on New Year’s Day and the ones watching on TV to look at that float and say, ‘I did that.’”

Gwen Robertson, spokeswoman for Irwindale-based Paradiso Parade Floats, said her company was proud to have a hand in building the Public Storage float.

“It was super fun,” she said by phone as she helped decorate the float on Friday in the company’s Irwindale warehouse. “The hardest part was thinking about decorating a float in October, but we loved to be able to share it with people throughout the country.”

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Follow Tim Traeger on Twitter: @TraegerTim.


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