• Blanket Statements

    by Barrett Kilmer May 2007

    The sun's ability to warm the earth's surface (and brighten everyone's spirits) is well known. When the planet's orbit takes, say, Massachusetts, nearer the sun in the spring, ice melts, snowsuits get mothballed and winter covers are removed from pools. Each day between then and the summer solstice gets longer, allowing the sun more time to warm...

  • Inside Out - Industry leaders weigh in on the state of hot tub equipment

    by Becky Strauss May 2007

    When the latest hot tub comes out, it's easy to focus on the cosmetic details, to admire the skirt and the sparkly new jets. But as your mom always said, it's what's on the inside that counts, and the spa equipment is no exception. AQUA hasn't checked in with the equipment industry for a few years regarding what's going on inside the spa, and so we decided to see what's...

  • Rise of the Robots

    by Kirstin Pires April 2007

    Sales of his company's robotic pool cleaners have doubled in the past three years, according to Gil Erlich of Aqua Products, Cedar Grove, N.J. And in Europe, he says, 50 percent of all new pool cleaners purchased are robotics. While not everyone agrees with that figure, one thing nearly everyone agrees on is that robotic automatic pool cleaners are gaining in popularity,...

  • United We Stand

    by Becky Strauss April 2007

    LARRY GILES Chairman of the strategic planning committee, member of the HTC and president of Vita Spas

    STEVE GORLIN Chairman of the HTC and owner of Gorlin Pools & Spas in Lakehurst, N.J.

    LAUREN STACK APSP Liaison to the HTC and director of marketing promotion for APSP

    It's no secret that 2006 was a difficult year for hot tub manufacturers and...

  • Be A Great Manager

    by Phillip M. Perry April 2007

    Are you a great store manager. Easy to ask; tough to answer. At the most basic level, of course, every successful retailer must know how to display merchandise, schedule staff and take inventory. Such technical skills, though, are only part of the picture. "Champion" store managers also possess an array of personal attributes that transform employees into top performers.

    "Great store managers, first and foremost, have people skills," notes...

  • AQUA 100 Eighteenth Annual

    by AQUA Editors April 2007

    Download pdf of AQUA 100

  • Manage Anyone In Four Steps

    by Mimi Donaldson March 2007

    Managing means getting results through people. We do this in many different settings, from workplace to household. No doubt you have already been a manager. You've managed delivery people, repair people, pets, children, in-laws, spouses and more.

    One management myth is that money motivates hard work and loyalty. While that carrot may work for some people some of the time, the most-effective managers depend on effective interpersonal communication skills to get...

  • A Step in the Right Direction

    by Becky Strauss March 2007

    If you spend all day around hot tubs, and it's a safe bet that many readers of this article do, you've probably noticed a preponderance of up-market steps and surrounds for the spas you sell. The days of the lonely hot tub on the deck are over; today's customers seem to want all the bells and whistles. Many manufacturers are working hard to provide dealers a whole backyard...

  • Above-Ground Bear Market

    by Barrett Kilmer March 2007

    Weather has always been a big factor — the biggest even — in the aboveground pool market. Year after year, retailers credit good weather for strong sales and curse cool, cloudy weather when sales dip. An early thaw. This is going to be a record season! Snow into April? Well, maybe next year… Sales of above-ground pools have been declining in recent...

  • Saved . . .

    by Mark E. Battersby March 2007

    The owners and operators of many pool and spa businesses may be missing out on a number of newly extended and expanded tax breaks under the false impressions that they had expired. Other tax breaks that may have been overlooked in the past have now been clarified thanks to the last-minute passage of a new tax law.

    The passage of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 in December extended a number of expired or expiring tax breaks. Covered were provisions such as...