The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) and the International Hot Tub Association (IHTA) have agreed to work as a single entity to unite and strengthen the portable spa industry in North America and abroad. 

The Board of Directors of both organizations unanimously voted to combine forces to speak with one voice on all technical and governmental issues related to hot tubs. The agreement calls for combined financial resources to gain operating efficiencies and membership. 

To facilitate the transition, the APSP Hot Tub Council will be dissolved and replaced with a new entity to be known as the IHTA under APSP. A new strategic leadership team comprised of seven to nine members will be formed to govern the affairs of the hot water segment including advocacy, research and promotion. These members will be put forth and agreed to by the existing IHTA Board and APSP Hot Tub Council. 

“This agreement between APSP and IHTA means that the full force of legislative, regulatory and promotion activities are unified, targeted and efficient — giving the manufacturers, distributors and retailers and others involved in the hot tub business the opportunity to be more profitable while preserving the appeal of hot tubs as a viable and attractive product,” said APSP CEO and president Rich Gottwald. “We welcome IHTA members with open arms and look forward to jointly advocating and promoting hot tubs.” 

“This is the right time and the right place to forge a new path for the entire hot tub industry,” said IHTA President Bob Lauter. “Both organizations realize there is strength in numbers and we are ready to speak with one voice on important issues that impact hot tubs.”

Lauter explained that IHTA members will now become APSP members and are entitled to the same benefits. “IHTA members will receive information in the next few months about renewing under the new arrangement.” 

“Both organizations have strengths and collectively, it’s our job now to maximize opportunities. For example, with the International Swimming Pool & Spa Code, we now have a terrific opportunity to get favorable, uniform and reasonable hot tub residential building code requirements into law at the local level where it means the most to members,” Gottwald added. 

For more information, contact IHTA@APSP.org.

Scott Webb is Executive Editor of AQUA Magazine.