• Make Way, Macy's!

    by Barrett Kilmer September 2018

    Craig Ecelbarger is the owner of Recreational Warehouse of Southwest Florida, a backyard retailer based in Fort Myers that also serves customers in beach communities about 40 miles to the south and 40 miles to the north. Until last year, he had two stores: the 16,000-square-foot flagship and a southern satellite about half that size in Naples. That left the seasonal residents, retirees and townies of Port Charlotte, on the northern end of Ecelbarger's media radius, to battle traffic on 41...

  • Is Wellness Working?

    by Eric Herman September 2018

    Back in 2016, spa manufacturing giant Watkins changed its name to Watkins Wellness. It was an attention-getting move that not only demonstrated the company's commitment to the wellness message, but was also in many ways...

  • Coast Spas Names New CEO

    by Barrett Kilmer September 2018

    Coast Spa recently announced the appointment of Patricia Diamente as president and CEO. She succeeds company founder and CEO Don Elkington, who will keep his position as chairman of the board for the Langley, BC-based manufacturer

    “Patricia’s track record is exactly what we need as we enter the next phase for Coast, which I am confident will be even more impactful and exciting than our last,” Elkington said. “I look forward to working with Patricia as she transitions into her new...

  • Hot Looks in Hot Water

    by AQUA Editors September 2018

    Hot tub design has come a very long way from the days of wine barrel tubs and the early portables. The industry now features vessels that complement and harmonize with architecture and landscape design in ways once reserved for their concrete counterparts.

    Back in our July issue, Senior Editor Eric Herman discussed how portable and pre-manufactured hot tubs have evolved in aesthetic design in recent years. The main point was simple: Where in-ground concrete hot tubs have...

  • What's Hot in Portable Spas?

    by AQUA Editors September 2018

    With the hot tub industry going strong, it's more important than ever for retailers to carry a range of the latest and greatest portable spa models. Whatever the needs are in your market — price point, the latest tech, beautiful design, high-end hydrotherapy — there's a line for you. Below, take a look at...

  • How High is Up?

    by Bil Kennedy September 2018

    Here's some good news: The hot tub industry has finally regained some of its swagger.

    Until recently, things hadn't been particularly great for the hot tub business, especially during the recession. That's when the industry averaged a dismal -15.4 percent annual growth. Total spa shipments during that period dropped 58 percent. Not pretty.

    The so-called recovery wasn't any great shakes, either. During the period 2010-2014, the industry managed a less-than-inspiring 1.1...

  • Frothy Fun

    by Eric Herman September 2018

    Designing and building beautiful aquatic spaces is often about reflecting the clients' personalities — at least it should be, according to Dennis Loy of Loy Custom Pool Designs in Austin, Texas. The project you see here offers a perfect example. The husband brews his own beer under the brand name Splash Craft Brewery, and his wife is an arts-and-crafts and gardening enthusiast. Loy's design integrates these passions into a one-of-a-kind outdoor living space that includes a backyard brewery...

  • September 2018 New Spa and Pool Products

    by AQUA Editors September 2018

    This month, we take a look at new and exciting pool and spa products, including the FrogLog, made to help critters escape pools, Abatron's Tread Spread, a slip-resistant coating, colorful fountains and more.



    Acrylic Goes Commercial

    by Eric Herman September 2018

    Although portable spas dominate the residential hot water market, concrete leads the way in commercial settings, where building codes and sizing needs give custom concrete hot tubs the advantage. There's a Canadian manufacturer, however, that's trying to change that perception a little.

    HydroTher, an acrylic hot tub manufacturer based in Mississauga, Ont., is making inroads into the commercial market by offering a line designed for high-use and commercial code compliance. According...

  • Hatching the Golden Egg Sauna

    by Eric Herman August 2018

    Last year, Swedish architectural firm Bigert & Bergstrom unveiled the "Solar Egg," a gold-plated 16-foot-tall wood-and-steel sauna designed for up to eight people. The wood-burning sauna was part of a...