Sun & Fun

Sun Fiberglass pool party a hit for Anheuser-Busch.

Almost everyone enjoys a good pool party. So it's really no surprise that Anheuser-Busch is designing a major promotional campaign based on the concept. The brewer first used the pool party theme at its national sales convention earlier this year in Orlando, Fla. To create a buzz, the $30,000 custom Sun Fiberglass pool featuring a $6,000 custom-color Anheuser-Busch graphic was concealed for the first two days of the convention, and then revealed at the beginning of the third. To demonstrate the gist of the theme to company executives, hired models played volleyball and other pool games. The execs liked the "Bud Light Pool Party" theme so much that they've requested the pool be used again for a future event, even though "company policy, according to the show manager, is never to repeat a theme or show exhibit," says Curt Prystupa, president of Sun Fiberglass.

"Hear" To Help

Save the whales while soaking in your hot tub.

Orca Network, a non-profit organization that tracks whales throughout Puget Sound and British Columbian waters, is encouraging those who have hot tubs near the water to listen for whales and report them to the organization's whale sighting network.

Orca whales that inhabit Washington's inland waters are in harm's way due to declining salmon runs and pollution. Scientists are trying to track the whales' movements to learn where it's most important that toxic chemicals are cleaned up and where the whales feed on salmon, Orca Network says.

"You can help us gather valuable data on our beloved orcas and gray whales if you just let us know when you are lucky enough to have whales swim by while you're soaking," says Susan Berta, a member of the Orca organization. "How much better can it get."

Berta says Orca Network's whale watching program began years ago when she was soaking in her own hot tub on Whidbey Bay. After hearing the whales pass, Berta would telephone friends so they too could enjoy the sights and sounds. This phone list eventually evolved to an e-mail list of more than 1,000 people in the United States and Canada, who use it to track whales off the west coast, including California, Oregon and Washington.

For more information, contact the Orca Network at 866/6722638, e-mail info@orcanetwork or visit orcanetwork.org.

Time Capsule

During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, homeowners were more concerned with survival than with swimming. Gary Pools in San Antonio, Texas, weathered the storm by building bomb shelters until the hysteria subsided.

Give The Gift Of Spa

Relaxing recipes help soakers get the most from their hot tubs

The habit of gift giving is more prevalent in some cultures than in others. In Japan, for example, entire chapters of etiquette books are devoted to the gift-giving ritual, which includes a dizzying array of occasions, relationships and events that require gifts. In North America, an unexpected gift is a special surprise that can cement a relationship, deliver a thank-you or simply serve as a reminder of the giver.

So while it's customary — although not required — to include a thank-you giveaway with a spa purchase (often chemicals or accessories), a unique and thoughtful offering can set you apart from the crowd. You already know that your spa customers are seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, so why not offer something like The Spa Deck as a thank-you token.

This card deck holds 50 recipes for relaxation and rejuvenation, many of which can be used in conjunction with a soak in the new hot tub. The recipes come from Naturopathica Spa in New York City and are grouped in three categories: beauty, remedy and rejuvenation. Formulated from easily obtained oils, fruits and herbs, the recipes range from "cranberry enzyme mask," to "rosemary sea salt foot scrub." There is also a card for a home spa party and one for bath therapy.

Your customers will not only appreciate the thoughtful gift, they'll enjoy the card deck's tips for indulging in the spa lifestyle.

— K.P.

The Spa Deck By Barbara Close and Susie Cushner Chronicle Books $13.95 ISBN 0-8118-2946-4

Floors That Will Floor You

Denver company makes art underfoot.

When customers step onto an Images In Tile custom glass-tile floor mural, they'll feel like they can walk on water. Or clouds. Or fire. Or just about any image you can imagine.

IIT uses a cutting-edge dye-sublimation process to permanently transfer images to glass tile. IIT's marketing manager, Mark Mamber, says the company can apply custom, full-color photographic reproductions of any image to glass tiles, creating a mural as large as a shopping mall floor or as intimate as a decorative border in a powder room. And the creativity is not limited to flooring. The same technology can be used on glass wall tile, mosaic or swimming pool tile.

The commercial flooring tile shown here is suitable for high-traffic and commercial applications and meets ANSI and ASTM standards for freeze-thaw, chemical resistance (including swimming pool chemicals), breakage and friction. The murals also pass a speed test: Mamber says IIT typically turns projects around within 10 days.