Editor’s note: This article went to press coincident with the merger of APSP and NSPF into the...
Steam is rising from the portable hot tub industry. It was another generous year in spa sales: 88...
After 17 years serving as the face of Tara Manufacturing, Ron Shults, the company's vice president of sales,...
The hot tub experience may start with the tub — but that's only the beginning. From there, it can be personalized to the tastes and needs of the individual spa owner. From speakers to relaxing fragrances and storage units, owners truly have the opportunity to create an experience all their own. Here are just a few spa accessories from leading manufacturers:
Byron OriginalsThe Sure Step II offers quality, durability, numerous color options and simple setup with no tools required. It accommodates both round and rectangular spas and is made in the U.S. stepnstow.com | (800) 745-1472
The Cover CompanyThe Cover Company's hot tub covers feature double-stitched, marine-grade vinyl, and each foam core is reinforced with a galvanized steel channel. Covers are custom made to your specifications and offer a variety of upgrades and options. coverlon.com | (908) 707-1122
Rola-ChemWhen placed in a clean spa, SCUMBUG PLUS floats freely to help prevent the formation of a scum line. The new Bigger Bug has roughly 20 percent more surface area than the original. This additional surface area enables the SCUMBUG PLUS to absorb 40 times its weight in body oils, suntan lotions and pollen. rola-chem.com | (651) 653-5031
Cover ValetThe Cover Ex is back and features all aluminum construction as well as cast aluminum (no plastic) mounting brackets. It requires only 12 inches of operational clearance and works with square-rectangular spas up to 104 inches in size. The Cover Ex also includes two possible mounting positions for a more universal fit and reinforced tubing for added strength. Its foam grips add comfort and overall ease of operation. The Cover Ex features a five-year warranty and is available in four units per case and 56 per pallet. covervalet.com | (800) 730-7727
Leisure ConceptsSmartDeck by Leisure Concepts is an innovative, in-house solution to provide customers with a fast, easy and inexpensive way of establishing a flat and level surface for spa installations. Send this DIY system home with a new spa owner to further commit them to the spa sale while providing additional profits to your bottom line. Featuring an elegant, non-slip, stamped concrete and bullnose edging, the SmartDeck is the smart choice for all your spa pad needs, the company says. leisureconcepts.com | (800) 469-2428
ControlOMaticControlOMatic now offers the ChlorMaker, a UL-approved saltwater chlorine generator specifically designed to retrofit any spa on the market. The push-button control panel simply mounts to the spa skirting. It offers three-button controls to adjust chlorine or bromine and operates on a three-hour cycle to make chlorine eight times a day (so there is no need to manually add chlorine). The generator also has a "boost mode" that increases chlorine production after spa use. controlomatic.com | (530) 205-4520
Cover ButlerThe Cover Butler, an industry standard for 25 years, is now available in designer black finish along with the original anodized silver. It is simple, affordable and durable and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. coverbutler.com | (800) 940-9457
Automatic Pool CoversThe AutoGuard automatic cover system gives homeowners the most convenient option to open and close their spa, the company says. The system provides a safe, automatic cover system for use on spas and runs real-time diagnostics to prevent problems and quickly locate potential maintenance needs. Built with commercial grade hardware, the AutoGuard cover delivers more than 1,500 pounds of torque, so spas can be safely concealed or opened up in less than one minute. AutoGuard covers exceed industry safety standards (ASTM-1346). apc-mfg.com | (800) 878-5789
Natural ChemistryNatural Chemistry introduces four new convenient, toss-and-go pod products: the Spa pH Increaser, Spa pH Decreaser, Spa Alkalinity Increaser and Spa Oxidizing Shock Pods. Designed to give spa owners the best and easiest water care maintenance, the pods dissolve in water to reduce waste and the need to measure messy chemicals. They are packaged in attractive containers with 16 pods in each of the balancers and 30 pods in the shock container. naturalchemistry.com | (800) 753-1233
Caldera SpasThe innovative FreshWater Salt System by Watkins Wellness has revolutionized water care. Its patent-pending design has overcome the No. 1 objection to hot tub ownership: time and cost of maintenance, the company says. Easily accessible from the bartop, the disposable titanium cartridge automatically generates the proper amount of chlorine and releases it into the water to keep it clean and clear for a full year. calderaspas.com | (800) 669-1881 ext. 4379
SMP | UltraliftA new bracket from Ultralift eliminates the need to drill more holes than necessary during hot tub installation. Ideal for composite spa cabinets, the Visionlift boomerang emphasizes a stylish and streamlined design to accompany the Visionlift's 360-degree view from the spa, which is achieved by placing the hot tub cover directly behind the tub to provide viewers with a full visual line. ultrapoolandspa.com | (905) 568-4459
Strong SpasStrong Spas is proud to feature its innovative, fully-automated Dura-Shield HardCover, now available on both its Elements and Summit Series hot tubs. Great for users who do not want to wrestle with covers, the Dura-Shield opens with the turn of a key. The UL-listed hydraulic system opens and closes the cover with no extra assistance from the user. Elements HardCovers are available in a variety of matching high-end finishes, including Carbon Fiber, Black Onyx, Bristol Wood and now Diamond White. strongspas.com | (800) 787-6649
A&B AccessoriesNew for 2019, A&B Accessories offers Spa Side Cabinets, the perfect place for hot tub storage. Using all-HDPE construction, the cabinets require zero maintenance and are easy to assemble. They are available in 11 colors and two widths (60 inches and 28 inches) and stand at 34-inches tall. aandbaccessories.com | (800) 637-0609
inSPArationinSPAration's new SpaBomb Aromatherapy products are specially formulated for spas, hot tubs, baths and jetted tubs. Made with Epsom salt, aloe vera extract and vitamins. inSPAration.com | (800) 882-0037
Freeflow SpasThe Cool Step features a fully-insulated cooler in the top step and lid, designed to keep drinks cold while spa owners relax. It also doubles as a storage step for towels, pool toys, water treatment supplies and more. Made with the same material as Freeflow Spas, it offers maximum durability and spot-on color matching. The built-in valve makes draining easy, and its straight profile complements the spa's modern design. freeflowspas.com | (888) 961-7727
PQN AudioThe new Spa15 spa speaker from PQN Audio is the industry's first dual-mount mini 1½-inch high-power speaker, the company says. The Spa15 can either be front mounted for full foam spas or installed with its wall-fitting nut for roto-molded spas. Ideal as neck pillow accent audio installs, the speaker provides five times more power output than other standard mini speakers. It is IP68 waterproof, chemical and UV resistant. It includes a snap-on grill, custom logo capability and is REACH, CE and RoHS compliant for European requirements. spaspeaker.com | (805) 794-6475
COVANACOVANA manufactures automated hot tub and swim spa covers that elevate and close with a simple turn of a key. Users can enjoy their spa in less than 30 seconds without any effort, regardless of weather. Offered with optional retractable shades, COVANA creates an elegant, relaxed and intimate setting. covana.com | (877) 278-8010
OxiCleanOxiClean Spa Pipe Clean is a highly concentrated blend of enzymes and powerful surfactants that clean where hands can't reach — inside the pipes. Pipe Clean attacks the root cause of common spa maintenance issues: the buildup of non-living organic waste contamination within the plumbing. The product helps to break down and remove oils, lotions, sunscreen and other non-living contaminants that lead to cloudy water, clogged filters, unpleasant odors and more. By purging the spa of these contaminants, it helps ensure superior water clarity with less work. oxicleanpool.com | (800) 753-1233
SPAccessoriesSPAccessories proudly introduces its new version of the industry's No. 1 selling style Cover Lift. The new Cover One includes special features and is a highly competitively priced spa lift, the company says. Reinforced plastic brackets extend the lift's life. Padded handles and a full-length center bar make operation easier. Double coated aluminum tubing and stainless-steel hardware dramatically minimize potential rusting. The lift also includes a convenient three-hook towel holder. The Cover One fits most hot tubs up to 96 inches and carries a five-year limited warranty. 888spalift.com | (888) Spa-Lift
SpaPureSpaPure Simply Soft is the one-time use product that makes water feel silky smooth while improving water clarity, the company says. Spa owners will reduce their sanitizer consumption, experience less pH bounce and improve overall water quality when using this product. Gently scented, Simply Soft also reduces eye and skin irritation. Safe and easy to use, Simply Soft is the perfect spa accessory upsell product to ensure customers truly enjoy their hot tub with less work. spapureusa.com | (800) 456-1134
SpazazzSpazazz Adoraology Collection includes three different aromas. The collection focused on the study of relaxation — specifically, the study of mood, renewal and shape. The special blend is made with 100 percent aromatherapeutic oils and Dead Sea salts. Users can lift their mood, ease their tired body or hydrate and exfoliate skin. Additionally, Spazazz product benefits include reducing inflammation, pains, aches and stress and won't damage equipment or affect water chemistry. spazazz.com | (844) SPA-ZAZZ
Core CoversCore's Protective Winter Cover is made with a durable lightweight fabric with a tension shock core for adjustability. It protects a spa cover from UV rays, snow rain and debris – providing protection for the entire season. All of Core's protective winter covers include a storage bag. It is available in two standard sizes, 90 inches by 90 inches by 35 inches and 96 inches by 96 inches by 35 inches, as well as custom. corecovers.com/accessories | (855) 763-7450
King TechnologyKing Technology introduces its new FROG branding that features updated packaging for all FROG hot tub products. The company also has a number of new POP items, including floor and counter displays for FROG @ease as well as shelf liners, aisle violators, counter mats and danglers for FROG @ease and the new FROG Serene. kingtechnology.com | (800) 222-0169
Confer PlasticsConfer Plastics' new Flexible Spa Panel Replacement Kit has been gaining a lot of attention from retailers and service techs. The kit consists of rolls of replacement panels that are easily installed by cutting to height and wrapping around the existing framework of any 8-by-8-foot spa (or smaller). Confer Plastics is able to roll its experience of manufacturing cabinetry for spa OEMs into this new product that is available to distributors, dealers and service technicians. conferplastics.com | (800) 635-3213
Prestige Spa CoversPrestige Spa Cover Cleaner and Protectant cleans, preserves, protects and restores color. It keeps vinyl soft and pliable while also working to block the damaging effects of UV rays. It also inhibits cracking, fading and hardening of the vinyl. Periodic applications will keep spa covers looking new and protected from seasonal elements. prestigespacovers.com | (727) 576-8600
Merlin IndustriesMerlin Industries' custom spa covers are offered in five different grades, including Ultra fiberglass reinforced covers and Thermo-light floating spa covers (see photo). Every Merlin spa cover features heat seals to lock in heat and help lower operating costs. merlinindustries.com | (800) 289-1836
SilkBalanceSilkBalance is now available in a dissolvable, premeasured packet. Not only does the spa water care system help to give users silky, soft skin, it is easy to use and dissolves in seconds. Users simply toss the product into a filter compartment or jet stream (one dose, once per week), and it works to keep pH and alkalinity balanced and odors neutralized. silkbalance.com | (360) 392-2832
For Dan Boelhauf, it's the little things that count. With more than 15 years in the pool and spa industry, more than a decade of which he's spent at St. Louis-area Prestige Pools & Spas, Boelhauf has learned that customers have changed — but throwing in a freebie goes a long way in making a hot tub sale.
"For better or for worse, most of our customers believe they are experts now. Whether they are or not," he says. "The Internet has given them the ability to do their shopping...
Over the past year, the Manufacturers Council has focused on the industry's inability to attract and retain good employees at the dealer level. Listening to these discussions led me to a moment of pause. After reflecting upon the dealers with whom I have enjoyed long-standing relationships, it occurred to me that they were now, or would soon be, entering the twilight of their careers. A look in the mirror further revealed that I no longer had a full head of hair, and that which remained...
Editor's Note: As of this article's online publication, the KFC Hot Tub campaign has closed. It surpassed its campaign goal of $46,683 to raise a total of $53,909. The hot tub is available to purchase (so far, only three are available) at $13,311 and is expected to ship in August 2019.
You won't find Girl Scouts Troop 40348 behind tables stacked high with delicious cookies outside a local grocery store. Instead, as the nation's first Scuba Troop, the girls conduct their cookie sales at the bottom of a swimming pool. Choose pickup — which involves putting on your own scuba gear and diving below — or...