RECENT ARTICLES
  • Opinion: APSP/NSPF Merger Breakdown a Shame

    by Scott Webb January 2017

    When I first got word that the two most prominent industry associations were going to combine forces, honestly, I was inspired. They were attempting something heroic — reaching beyond their own individual interests for the good of all.

    More than just the practical benefit of representing the industry with a more powerful, unified voice, this was leadership. It was showing us how it's...

  • APSP, NSPF Unification Fails

    by AQUA Editors January 2017

    In a surprise announcement today, APSP and NSPF said they were ending efforts aimed toward the unification promised in April of 2016. At that time, the two organizations declared that they would join together for the good of the industry, providing new focus for advocacy efforts.

    Over the months since the initial declaration that the groups would merge, speculation has grown as to the shape of the new combined...

  • January 2017 New Spa and Pool Products

    by AQUA Editors January 2017

    With a new year comes a swath of new products from top manufacturers in the industry. This month, you’ll find a way to bring spin class to the pool, a modern take on tiki torches, a new spa and more.

    Splash-A-Round Pools
    Splash-A-Round Pools' Aqua Cycle provides an excellent low-impact...

  • The Moneyed Market: Selling Spas to a Wealthy Clientele

    by Cailley Hammel January 2017

    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.

    Retail Forecast: 2017

    by Phillip M. Perry January 2017

    For retailers looking to enjoy a profitable 2017, the economic stars are shifting into happy alignment. Consumers are expected to have more spendable money over the coming 12 months thanks to anticipated increases in employment and wages. And major drivers of the economy — including business investment and housing construction — are expected to continue their modest growth.

    Simply put, general improvement in the economy should result in more sales for retailers. "Our view is that...

  • 2017 Economy: Ready to Roar

    by Scott Webb January 2017

    I couldn't be happier to greet the New Year and shove that old one out the door. I've never been one to dwell on the past, but I'd deliver this Parthian shot to 2016 as it departs: it was marked by more foolishness than most.

    Baby 2017, on the other hand, like any newborn holds promise — especially for the pool and spa industry.

    More than most industries, in order to thrive, we depend on a feeling of affluence and security in the middle class. They need to be...

  • Alice Cunningham: On Outside Influences

    by Alice Cunningham January 2017

    Education. We hear about it all the time in the hot tub and pool industry. We're told it's the way to increase our professionalism, deliver greater value to our customers and ultimately grow the industry as we compete for consumers' discretionary dollars.

    Yet for all of the obvious importance of professional education and the hopeful rhetoric that surrounds it, I can't help but think, as an industry, we've come up short. That's not to say that we're entirely lacking in educational...

  • Are Chip Readers Here to Stay?

    by Phillip M. Perry December 2016

    Retailers can protect themselves against fraudulent transactions by installing point-of-sale systems that process the new chip-enabled credit cards. Criminals are increasingly targeting those retailers who have not yet performed the upgrade. Yet many merchants are opting to delay what can be a costly and time-consuming procedure.


    Shoppers love credit cards for quick and easy purchases. Retailers? Not so much. One big problem is fraud: Transactions with bogus plastic...

  • How to Offer Constructive Criticism

    by John Tschohl December 2016

    Giving positive feedback is easy. But what about those times when an employee is not performing as well as you need them to, and you need to give negative feedback? That can be a different story, especially for those who do not like confrontation. Managers need to be careful when dishing out negative feedback and need to make sure that it is done constructively – the last thing you want to do is demoralize your employee.

    While these conversations can be a bit awkward, when done...

  • What the Heck are 'Wave Balls'?

    by AQUA Editors December 2016

    While adults love a smooth glassy pool surface to cut through with their steady swim strokes, kids who play in the water just want some wave action. But creating waves requires the movement of enormous amounts of heavy water, which takes a great deal of energy.

    Unless you use...

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