• A Spa Is Not A Tiny Swimming Pool

    by Scott Webb September 2005

    Water is water — two small atoms of hydrogen clinging to a single large oxygen atom. The formula is the same for both pool water and spa water. But when it comes to the chemistry and care of pool and spa water, you might as well be comparing apples and . . . pears.

    The two are related, of course. Both become contaminated during normal use. Both typically use...

  • Under Wraps

    by Scott Webb August 2005

    A new spa cover arrives at the customer's home in pristine condition, just like the spa it will secure and insulate. But you can bet it will be replaced, perhaps several times over, before the spa finally gives out.

    And some dealers, like Kim Steffenhagen, showroom manager for Benson's Pool & Patio in Middleton, Wis., have pondered this. He sells a lot of spas...

  • Uberdealers

    by Karen Erstad July 2005

    Careers are, ideally , about more than just making money. But for business owners, maintaining profitability is still the highest priority. For those selling portable spas, if they're any good at it, they're probably safely in the black these days, since people really are spending more time at home and investing in their nests. But if your goal is to be more than just good...

  • Equipped For Success

    by Barrett Kilmer May 2005

    With an eye on increased customer satisfaction and sales, the makers of hot tubs and hot tub parts have been busy working to increase reliability and decrease the number of service calls on heaters, blowers and pumps. At the same time, retailers are struggling to find qualified personnel to diagnose and remedy problems with the equipment, with many considering their spa...

  • Top-Notch Training Ground

    by Virginia DeMoss May 2005

    "When we started out, I had a lot of the necessary mechanical and construction ability, but AQUA has really given us a feel for the industry and helped us develop our business skills," says Dan Hyatt, owner of Northwest Hot Spring Spas in Washington state. Like a lot of people in our position, we moved from doing everything ourselves to slowly adding service...

  • Who's Your Buyer?

    by Marj Schultz February 2005

    There's a little-known product offered by the pool and hot tub industry that has the potential to become a popular item as the population ages. Lots of manufacturers make them, but for most dealers — if they sell them at all — they represent a small portion of their businesses. Ask a random person off the street about them and you're likely to get a blank...

  • The Fifth Sense

    by Kirstin Pires January 2005

    It's only on rare occasions that I get to experience — in person — the products that we write about every month in AQUA. Sure, I swim in a big commercial pool twice a week, but my third-floor apartment is equipped with neither a hot tub nor a sauna. The only water feature in my home is a tropical fish aquarium. Pretty much all my furniture is casual, but because it's so well used, not because that's the category it started life in.

    Without a pool...

  • Cover Care

    by Emily Fuger August 2004

    After purchasing a hot tub, consumers are more likely to be worried about keeping the right balance of chemicals in the water than keeping the cover clean and well preserved. It is necessary for retailers to stress the importance of cleaning and conditioning a cover, however, because years of sun, rain and varying temperatures can wreak havoc on an uncared-for cover...

  • A vanishing-edge pool and spa combo in Montgomery, Texas

    by Karen Erstad August 2004

    The lowest price is not always the winning bid — especially when it comes to high-end custom projects. Upscale clients often choose the best design from the most knowledgeable builder bidding — even if the price is higher.

    Tom Driscoll, president of Cabana Pools Aquatech, says that was the case with this spa and 410-squarefoot vanishing-edge pool in...

  • Spa Broker Benchmark

    by Reid Creager July 2004

    Your business isn't in a great location. It doesn't have much product diversity. Your attempts at expansion haven't worked out so well, and you don't plan on trying it again.

    Sound like a struggling business? Not if you're the Spa Broker in Chico, Calif., which recently celebrated its 25th year in business and did $1.3 million in sales last year while selling 224...