RECENT ARTICLES
  • Healthy Hot Water

    by Barrett Kilmer September 2016

    The portable hot tub industry is in the midst of a makeover. Long viewed as selling products centered around socializing or relaxing with friends and family, many manufacturers and dealers are tweaking their sales and marketing to include stronger messaging around health and wellness. One manufacturer believes so strongly in the health and wellness angle that it's coalescing an entire company culture around it.

    Watkins Manufacturing, the Vista, Calif.-based maker of Hot Spring Spas,...

  • How Are Hot Tub Jet Configurations Developed?

    by Cailley Hammel September 2016

    For those who seek the health benefits a portable spa can offer, hot water isn't everything. Much of the allure of hydrotherapy — and a major draw for hot tub ownership in general — comes down to jets and the stimulation they provide to soothe aching muscles, relieve pain and reduce stress.

    And while jets have always been an essential part of the portable spa experience (and a huge marketing hook for manufacturers), the hot tub industry's continued shift towards health and wellness...

  • Born in the USA: The History of Portable Spas

    by Scott Webb September 2016

    We didn't start the fire that warmed the spa. No one can take credit for discovering the wonderful sensation of easing down into hot water.

    Long before the Romans built their hot tub palaces and made soaking together a social custom, one has to assume that stone age man discovered geothermal pools, slipped off the bearskin, sat down in the steaming water and said, "Honey, let's live here."

    No, we didn't invent hot water immersion here in North America, but we did invent the...

  • AQUA Celebrates Four Decades

    by Scott Webb September 2016

    Forty years ago this month, we started out in the magazine business. We were Spa And Sauna magazine then. It was September 1976, the Olympics had just concluded, Bruce Jenner was in the headlines…

    Obviously, some things have changed.

    For example, Spa and Sauna magazine became AQUA. We changed the name to reflect the fact that most North American spa dealers were leisure aquatics dealers;...

  • Top It Off: Hot Tub Cover and Lifter Roundup

    by AQUA Editors August 2016

    What are the three magic words every hot tub salesperson loves to hear?

    "I'll take it!"

    Not only does that phrase mean you're getting a hot tub out the door, it also means you have an opportunity to add onto the sale (and boost your commission) with accessories that make the hot tub lifestyle even better.

    First up: a hot tub cover. Covers protect the spa from the elements, help maintain proper water chemistry, save energy and offer a safety precaution when the hot...

  • APSP, NSPF Take Major Step Toward Unification

    by AQUA Editors August 2016

    The boards of APSP and NSPF have agreed to hire Washington, D.C.-based AH, a professional services firm, to lead the unification process for the two aquatic organizations.

    AH specializes in helping non-profit organizations achieve their mission, create value, and advance their causes.  President & CEO Bob Waller, CAE, stated, “This initiative will be extremely positive for the aquatics industry and we are excited to be partnering with the APSP and the NSPF on this...

  • 'Imagining' a New Store Concept

    by Cailley Hammel August 2016

    If there's one thing David Ghiz has learned from his years in the pool and spa industry, it's that seeing is believing. So when designing the 15,000 square foot space that would become Imagine Backyard Living (Scottsdale, Ariz.), his top priority was creating a feast for the eyes and the imagination.

    "It was really about trying to change the way people thought about hot tubs, and I felt like if I did it in an experience where they could see them much better set up, they would be...

  • Hot Tubs and the 'Intimacy' Angle

    by AQUA Editors August 2016

    Is it possible that one of the greatest benefits of the “hot water experience” also happens to be one of the trickiest to talk about?

    For the sake of discussion let’s call it “personal intimacy.” We all know what that means and it’s no secret that certain adult behaviors are part and parcel to the hot water experience. Yet, as an industry focused on health and family togetherness, the behavior of couples in spas/hot tubs almost always remains unspoken.

    I delicately bring...

  • Devastating CA Fire Caused By Faulty Hot Tub Wiring

    by Cailley Hammel August 2016

    Last September, the Valley Fire tore through California in Napa and Sonoma counties, killing four people and destroying nearly 2,000 structures, including homes, commercial buildings and other properties. In total, 4,000 firefighters battled the blaze, which would consume more than 76,000 acres of land and cost $57 million to extinguish.

    In the months since, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire, launched an investigation into the...

  • Uber for Pool Service: Will On-Demand Service Take Off?

    by Cailley Hammel August 2016

    Nicole Ruble was on Facebook in late April when an ad caught her eye. It was promoting a new lead generation service, Pool Service on Demand, that claimed it could help pool businesses land new service customers.

    Ruble, sales manager of JFY Pools in Elgin, Ill., was intrigued. But Sean Ruble, her husband and owner of JFY Pools, was uncertain.

    "I was the one that was like, 'All right, let's do it, it sounds really interesting,'" Nicole says. "Sean was the one who was a little...