- Tuesday, June, 13, 2017 Hot Tubs: As Good As Exercise
Have you ever wondered why it is that for all the health benefits of using our industry’s products, most consumers are only dimly aware that there are any?
It’s both a mystery and shame. As research defining the spectrum of benefits of hot water immersion and aquatic activity piles up year after year, discussions remain largely academic and strangely dispassionate.
It’s time to face the painful fact square in the face: As an industry, we have been just plain lousy at using...
- Tuesday, June, 06, 2017 Swim Spa Currents
Since their introduction nearly 40 years ago, swim spas have occupied a unique niche offering the benefits of both hot tubs and swimming pools in one unit. For the most part, it's been the ability to swim laps in a small space that has kept swim spas afloat, particularly with fitness-minded homeowners who don't have space for a lap-sized swimming pool.
In recent years, however, the appeal of swim spas has expanded beyond the home-fitness focus to customers who are now turning to the...
- Thursday, June, 01, 2017 VGB 10 Years After
Virginia Graeme Baker would be 22 years old had she not drown June 15, 2002. As it is, her name and the familiar acronym formed by her initials represent what is easily the biggest and most horrific pool- and spa-related story of the 21st century. So much so, we almost lose sight of the little girl who perished due to a faulty drain...
- Thursday, May, 25, 2017 Genesis & NSPF: Happy Together
When the National Swimming Pool Foundation acquired Genesis (originally Genesis 3) back in November 2015, many in the industry were surprised, at least at first.
On one side of the deal, NSPF serves the industry with programs that focus on the needs of professionals who operate commercial pool and spa facilities, chiefly through its CPO program that trains upwards of 30,000 pool operators each year. Founded in 1963, the foundation is similarly well known for its ongoing efforts to...
- Tuesday, May, 23, 2017 2017 SOI Builder Report: Optimism Abounds
In many ways, builders are the front line for the entire pool and spa industry, especially when it comes to looking at overall market growth. After all, builders are the ones who design and install the industry's primary products; they also refurbish existing installations so those vessels continue to generate service and retail activity.
As such, it's fair to say as the builders go, so goes the rest of the industry. That may bode well as the 2017 AQUA State of the Industry Builder...
- Thursday, May, 11, 2017 Discretionary Dollars: How are Our Competitors Faring?
Any way you slice it, discretionary income in the U.S. is an enormous pie. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total disposable income in the U. S. reached an all-time high of 14345.40 USD billion in January.
That unfathomably huge number represents all the "non-essential" spending by U.S. consumers across a spectrum of activities, products and services. The category includes everything from tobacco and alcohol consumption to movie rentals, massages and professional...
- Thursday, April, 27, 2017 Sizing Up Saunas
When talking to sauna enthusiasts and those who sell them, the experience and health benefits are almost always a primary focus, many of which are well known and have been widely discussed for years — if not decades.
They are quick to point out that saunas help prevent fatal heart attacks,...
- Thursday, April, 13, 2017 Research: Water Immersion Yields Neurological Benefits
Ever since the first time humans stepped into a warm geothermal pool, we've known how good it feels. And beyond that wonderful sensation of aquatic immersion, we've also long suspected doing so is really good for us.
Thanks to an ever-growing body of research, we've learned how swimming can lower blood pressure,
- Wednesday, April, 05, 2017 In Service of Safety
Of the three main industry sectors, service is the least associated with safety. Builders work to follow construction standards and install safety features such as automatic covers, fences and enclosures, and retailers sell safety products on a daily basis and routinely advise their customers about the safe operation of pools and spas. But for service techs who don't get much face-to-face interaction, safety promotion is less what they say, and more what they do.
"We don't talk to...
- Monday, March, 20, 2017 Solving Our Labor Shortage
It’s been the same story for years: the availability of young talent, or lack thereof, remains a vexing issue for the pool and spa industry. Our industry simply doesn't know how to draw young people into the fold.
The issue was on my mind recently when I saw a press release about an annual competition that might hold some answers, or at least point the industry in a fresh direction. It’s called the