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 cailley@aquamagazine.com.
  • Tuesday, June, 13, 2017 Tara Manufacturing's Ultimate Makeover Contest Now Open

    For many pool builders, the hardest jobs aren’t new pool builds — they’re restoration projects. Best-case scenario: you’re simply resurfacing and adding new features. Worst-case scenario: You’re entirely gutting the backyard…and crossing your fingers that you don't run into any number of unexpected problems along the way.

    In honor of the challenges a backyard renovation can bring — as well as the reward of completely transforming a backyard — Tara Manufacturing created the

  • Thursday, June, 01, 2017 Crossing Enemy Lines

    To many in the hot tub industry, "Costco" is a dirty word.

    Due to its high volume, low margin business model, Costco (as well as other wholesale clubs) is able to offer spas at a lower price than dealers. Those bargain prices may be a boon for shoppers, but for portable spa dealers who try to compete, it's vexing.

    "We're out here fighting, and then you've got somebody throwing something up there for $3,999 that just totally negates the value of what we're doing," says Jacque...

  • Tuesday, May, 30, 2017 2017 SOI Hot Tub Report: An Industry on the Rise

    If a rising tide lifts all boats, so the saying goes, it makes sense that the hot tub industry is gaining momentum. With the economy in a strong position and both salaries and discretionary income on the rise, hot tub dealers are seeing a modest uptick in sales.

    Sixty-seven percent of those who took our State of the Industry hot tub survey report their sales are increasing — an 8 percent increase from last year. Many of these dealers say the sales boost is simply the result of a...

  • Tuesday, May, 09, 2017 2017 SOI Retail Report: Brick and Mortar, Empowered

    With the recession well in the rearview mirror, distanced by several years of incremental success, pool and spa retailers can finally exhale. Things are looking up, including the industry's outlook on the future.

    According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal income increased 2.6 percent from 2015 to 2016 and disposable personal income increased 3.9 percent, both of which are encouraging for the luxury good market. In all, the National Retail Federation estimates sales will...

  • Tuesday, April, 18, 2017 pHin: Here To Stay

    Quick Recap

    What is pHin?

    pHin is a water sensor that continually measures pH, ORP, and temperature. Once a month, the mobile app asks the customer to use a test strip, which it scans to access free chlorine, total alkalinity, total hardness and cyanuric acid.

    How does it work?

    Homeowners and/or

    ...
  • Thursday, April, 13, 2017 From Solo Owner to ESOP

    By the Numbers

    A study has found ESOPs appear to increase sales, employment and sales per employee by about 2.3 to 2.4 percent.*

    * Source: Joseph Blasi, Douglas Kruse, and Dan Weltman, "Firm Survival and Performance in Privately-Held ESOP Companies," 2013

    Jim Van...

  • Thursday, March, 16, 2017 3 Dealers on Why They Sell Tubs — and Skip Pools

    Many pool and spa companies aspire to be all things to all people — a one-stop-shop, so to speak, for swimming pools, hot tubs, patio furniture, landscaping, decking and more.

    While the "more is better" philosophy works for some, it's certainly not for everyone. In fact, with the birth of the hot tub industry came a different business model that's still around today: hot tub dealers who focus only on hot tubs — no pools, backyard furniture, nada. In lieu of generalization, these...

  • Tuesday, February, 28, 2017 Would You Try a Hot-Tub Theme Park?

    Get ready to add Beppu City to your travel bucket list. The Japanese city, which boasts the most natural hot springs in the world, is taking its passion for hot water to the next level by opening a hot tub-centric theme...

  • Wednesday, February, 15, 2017 Backyards by the Hour

    As we all know, just about everyone dreams of going home to a beautiful backyard — one with a pool, spa or simply lots of cushy seating under beautiful lighting.

    The problem is, not everyone can.

    Of course, such backyard paradises don't come cheap. And many deal with space constraints, especially in urban areas. (Not to mention those who rent and don't have backyards to begin with.)

    In these people, who love the backyard experience but can't achieve it themselves,...

  • Monday, February, 13, 2017 45 Years in the Sunshine State

    The "Orlando show," as it's colloquially known, has come a long way since its inception in 1972. After modest beginnings as a hotel tabletop show, the "Spring show," as attendees often called it, blossomed in both attendance and square footage. Fifteen years ago, the show made the leap to the Orange County Convention Center, cementing its status as a bona fide trade show within the pool and spa industry.

    This year, the show — renamed the Everything Under the Sun Expo in 2014 —...