RECENT ARTICLES
  • Crossing Enemy Lines

    by Cailley Hammel June 2017

    To many in the hot tub industry, "Costco" is a dirty word.

    Due to its high volume, low margin business model, Costco (as well as other wholesale clubs) is able to offer spas at a lower price than dealers. Those bargain prices may be a boon for shoppers, but for portable spa dealers who try to compete, it's vexing.

    "We're out here fighting, and then you've got somebody throwing something up there for $3,999 that just totally negates the value of what we're doing," says Jacque...

  • 2017 SOI Hot Tub Report: An Industry on the Rise

    by Cailley Hammel May 2017

    If a rising tide lifts all boats, so the saying goes, it makes sense that the hot tub industry is gaining momentum. With the economy in a strong position and both salaries and discretionary income on the rise, hot tub dealers are seeing a modest uptick in sales.

    Sixty-seven percent of those who took our State of the Industry hot tub survey report their sales are increasing — an 8 percent increase from last year. Many of these dealers say the sales boost is simply the result of a...

  • Aspen Spas Day in St. Louis

    by AQUA Editors May 2017

    In what may be a first for the industry, the city of St. Louis honored local manufacturer...

  • Hot Tub Products Launches E-Commerce Service

    by Kathryn Howard May 2017

    Hot tub consumers don’t just shop online for low prices, they shop online because it’s convenient. But managing an e-commerce website is hard, especially for specialty retailers who may not have the resources to build such a website, let alone maintain inventory and fulfill orders.

    Enter E-Commerce Licensing, a new company designed to help hot tub retailers easily set up and maintain an e-commerce presence, which in...

  • Spa Soup: Why We Dump Spa Water

    by Robert W. Lowry April 2017

    Customers who are new to hot tub ownership, and even longtime owners, are always surprised — and a bit skeptical — when told they should drain their spa as often as three months. "That sounds like a lot of work. Is that really necessary?" they ask. Well, in short, yes.

    RELATED:How to Lengthen the Life of Spa Water

    The average person brings 100 million bacteria into the...

  • Dealers Give Back During Incentive Trip to Hawaii

    by AQUA Editors April 2017

    More than 330 travelers representing the Watkins Wellness family of brands traveled to Hawaii in February to celebrate their success and achievements over the past year.

    The trip was the finale of the 2016 Watkins Wellness Incentive Program, which rewards dealers who excel in the industry and reach their annual goals. This year, the trip sent dealers on an all-expense-paid trip to a “Pacific Paradise” at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, in Hawaii.

    In addition to...

  • From Solo Owner to ESOP

    by Cailley Hammel April 2017

    By the Numbers

    A study has found ESOPs appear to increase sales, employment and sales per employee by about 2.3 to 2.4 percent.*

    * Source: Joseph Blasi, Douglas Kruse, and Dan Weltman, "Firm Survival and Performance in Privately-Held ESOP Companies," 2013

    Jim Van...

  • Avoid Opening Pools to Copper Stains

    by Chris Marcano March 2017

    Now that the long winter is finally ending, pool owners are looking forward to pulling off their covers.

    One of the strangest experiences a pool owner can have is to discover upon opening that the pool has a purple crystal-like stain on its surface. Service professionals have known about this phenomenon for years, and commonly refer to it as purple haze.

    Purple haze is not, contrary to popular belief, an organic bacteria or an algae issue. The problem is actually the result...

  • 3 Dealers on Why They Sell Tubs — and Skip Pools

    by Cailley Hammel March 2017

    Many pool and spa companies aspire to be all things to all people — a one-stop-shop, so to speak, for swimming pools, hot tubs, patio furniture, landscaping, decking and more.

    While the "more is better" philosophy works for some, it's certainly not for everyone. In fact, with the birth of the hot tub industry came a different business model that's still around today: hot tub dealers who focus only on hot tubs — no pools, backyard furniture, nada. In lieu of generalization, these...

  • Step it Up: 2017 Spa Steps, Surrounds and Enclosures Roundup

    by AQUA Editors March 2017

    When your customer buys a hot tub, what they're really buying is that alluring idea of a relaxing escape just steps from their home. After everything is said and done — forking over several thousands of dollars, calling up the electrician, laying out concrete and finally getting the tub installed and running — there's nothing worse than finally setting out to enjoy the new hot tub, only to find it's difficult to get in and out. Or that there isn't enough privacy around the spa. Or there...