Hot tub dealers have a lot to crow about. For example, 88 percent of our survey respondents said hot tub sales last year either increased or stayed even, an impressive testament to the category's staying power as well as the health of the economy right now. Spa retailers are also investing more in swim spas than ever before — year-on-year responses showed an 8 percent increase in 2017.

With sales and outlook both positive, we sought to use this year's SOI to ask about the issues that affect the bottom line such as industry marketing, internal compensation and product trends.

For example, we asked about the current state of the Hot Tub Health Movement, the marketing message that seeks to position the hot tub as a tool that can be used to promote overall health and wellness. Is it catching on? Do retailers think it's working? The results were surprising — dealers are split on its effectiveness. While most feel positively about the movement's potential impact among consumers, many are frustrated it has yet to lead to a national campaign like those found in the RV and boating markets.

RELATED: The Hot Tub Health Movement

For the first time ever, we asked about commissions on spa sales. We found nearly half of spa salespeople are paid a base salary plus commission, with other compensation options like straight salary and salary plus bonuses coming in second and third, respectively.

We always like to have a little fun in our SOI survey, which is why one of our favorite questions from last year returned this year: If you were given $20,000 to spend on your spa business, what would you do? Just a few answers included sales training, a showroom makeover, a digital marketing push and more.

To learn more about the current state of the hot tub industry, read on.


Cailley Hammel is Managing Editor of AQUA Magazine.