Cailley Hammel
Cailley joined the AQUA team in August 2012, and serves as the magazine's managing editor. She commonly writes about the hot tub industry, marketing and retailing. Follow her on Twitter @CailleyH or send her an email at
  • Tuesday, February, 07, 2017 Is "Virtual" The New Reality of Spa Sales?

    Virtual reality is one of the biggest movements in technology right now, largely due to its simple premise: Just put on a headset and you can be transported to a whole new world.

    Naturally, VR perfectly complements the gaming industry — its inherent qualities, like first-person perspective and the ability to look in all directions, blur the line between reality and the game world like never before. (It's no surprise that VR headsets were the hot item for Christmas.) At the same...

  • Tuesday, January, 10, 2017 'License' to Service

    One of the best assets a pool or spa company can have: a set of wheels. Sure, they get you from A to B, but they have another huge benefit: marketing space. Do it well, and your truck or van isn’t just a vehicle — it’s a mobile billboard.

    Recently, we shared a roundup of truck wraps from AQUA readers all over the country. But we quickly noticed that plenty of you like to use every square inch of your truck to spread a fun...

  • Thursday, January, 05, 2017 The Moneyed Market: Selling Spas to a Wealthy Clientele

    For a spa dealer in the D.C. area, life is good. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, of the top 10 wealthiest counties in the country, five are found in the suburbs of America's capital (See a full list in the sidebar on the right.). With plenty of government jobs, and commanding salaries to go with them, pockets are considerably deeper — and that means more disposable income to go toward luxury products like, say, a hot tub.

    That's a Wrap!

    A picture might speak 1,000 words, but for a pool builder or servicer, a truck wrap can say way more than that. Why? Because it does the talking when you can't.

    Maybe you're working your way through the daily cleaning route, and your bright truck catches someone's eye. The sight of happy swimmers on the truck door prompts a fellow driver to think, "Hmmm, that could be us. And we've got a perfect spot in our yard for a pool…"

    Or maybe you're in the backyard servicing...

  • Tuesday, November, 29, 2016 Tapping into the Resort Market

    Jackson Hole, Wyo., the Hamptons, L.I., the Florida Keys. These are just a few of the country's top resort areas, each a popular getaway for vacationers looking for beaches or powdery slopes. Not only are they cool places to visit, they're also a unique niche for hot tub retailers: the resort market.

    These top travel destinations are populated with cabins, cottages, condos, vacation homes and upper-crust estates, most of which are owned by people who don't live there full time. To...

  • Thursday, November, 17, 2016 This Outdoor Chair Will Grow on You

    When you think of a lawn chair, you tend to think of something like a classic Adirondack, or aluminum chairs with tube or nylon webbing. Studio Nucleo, on the other hand, has invented its own lawn chair — emphasis on the lawn part.

    Meet the Terra chair, a piece of outdoor furniture that is quite...

  • Thursday, November, 10, 2016 PSP Expo 2016: Show Highlights

    Last week, pool and spa pros from all over the country came together at the annual PSP Expo, which returned to New Orleans for the first time since 2012. In-between bites of gumbo and sips of hurricanes, attendees enjoyed a bustling show floor, a well-rounded assortment of classes...

  • Tuesday, November, 08, 2016 A Fruitful Collaboration

    Teamwork is as important to delivering a great hot tub installation as the materials or even the spa itself. But smooth teamwork between companies in the chain doesn't just happen; it often takes a little work, says Larry Berczyk, president and co-owner of Valley Pools & Spas (Burnsville, Minn.).

    "It can be a challenging experience trying to coordinate with a builder," he says. "A lot of it has to do with trust."

    But if you stay flexible and organized, relationships with...

  • Tuesday, September, 27, 2016 In the Hot Seat: 4 Top Spa Dealers Discuss the Hot Tub Industry

    How are retailers in the hot tub industry faring? What's happening right now — and where are things headed down the line? To find out, we spoke to four retailers throughout North America and asked them the same five questions about their businesses and the industry as a whole. These retailers each do things a little differently — three of the four have multiple locations, half position themselves as spa-only operations while the other half offer both pool and spa products — but all have...

  • Thursday, September, 08, 2016 The Mystery of the Burned Spa Cover

    Imagine a hot tub owner, Sam, in his backyard. He's just enjoyed a good soak, the last one before he heads off to the beach for vacation. Before he goes inside to finish packing, Sam secures his spa with a vinyl hot tub cover. (Like any responsible hot tub owner, Sam keeps safety in...