• Lost Hot Tub Found 20 Miles Away

    by AQUA Editors November 2018

    After Hurricane Michael slammed Florida’s St. George Island in October, many residents returned from the evacuation to learn they had little left to return to.

    David Coston, who owns a vacation home on the island, was one of the lucky ones whose property survived the Michael’s sustained winds and storm surge.

    The day he returned, Coston was certainly relieved to see the house standing, but he did notice something was missing. “Wait a minute, our hot tub’s not here,” he...

  • Vocal About Being Local

    by AQUA Editors November 2018

    Every year as the holidays approach the airwaves are awash with ads touting sales and special hours at the world’s retailing giants. But smarter shoppers know going to Best Buy isn’t the best idea of you really care about your community, and that Target isn’t what to aim for if you want to keep your money circulating locally. People do care about these things, but they need a little prompting to look beyond the media blitz and patronize the mom-and-pop stores that make up shrinking share of...

  • Parents Line Up For Swim Lessons

    by Eric Herman November 2018

    Way back in 2011, I covered a story from India about a public pool that had hundreds of people lining up for memberships. At the time, it seemed like one of those things that would only happen in a country where public facilities, including pools, are in short supply. I never imagined something similar might happen in the U.S.

    All these years later, it happened here. Back in October, the

  • Gone Fishing

    by Eric Herman November 2018

    As the economy slowly healed after the Great Recession, the pool and spa industry saw encouraging signs of improvement. Phones were ringing again. Retail stores bustled with business. Consumer confidence was growing stronger and property values were escalating.

    Yet despite these positive signs, for some industry pros it's been difficult to let go of the recession mindset. Out of an abundance of caution, many industry pros are retaining the lean staffing practices of the recession,...

  • A Legendary Marketing Strategy

    by Cailley Hammel November 2018

    Have you met "The Legend" yet?

    If you're familiar with Haviland Pool & Spa Products, you might have. He's the host of Haviland's web series, "Legendary Pools & Spas," which debuted earlier this year on the YouTube channel of the same name. Each episode depicts The Legend, portrayed by Haviland Regional Sales Manager John Bokor, shining a light on one of the many interesting facets of our industry.

    Sometimes he talks to a dealer with a remarkable story, as he did when...

  • The Mod Squad

    by Dana Robinson November 2018

    The well-dressed backyard once consisted of a few plastic lawn chairs, a picnic table and a modest charcoal grill. Today, the Joneses have stepped up their game considerably, as the backyard has gone from a mere patch of grass to a hub of entertaining — a space that plays host to everything from children's birthday bashes to elegant evening dinner parties.

    Today, outdoor kitchens are a big part of that backyard aesthetic. By allowing the homeowner to prepare and serve meals...

  • In Review: 2018 PSP Expo

    by AQUA Editors November 2018

    The pool and spa industry took Las Vegas by storm last week at the PSP Expo, with thousands walking the aisles, taking in industry education, networking and, of course, having fun along the way. (Which is never hard to come by in Las Vegas, especially when the first day of the show falls on Halloween.) Below you’ll find just a few highlights from the show floor and beyond.

  • LEDs: The New Direction of Pool Lighting

    by Eric Herman November 2018

    LED lights have taken the pool industry in bold new directions — and have done so in increasingly rapid fashion in only the past few years. In terms of sales, the new compact-LED fixtures have reportedly overtaken traditional incandescent lights, which are increasingly relegated to replacement sales.

    According to James Carter, lighting product manager for Hayward Industries, "From an LED perspective, the rate of adoption is extremely high because the entire lighting industry has...

  • Customizing the Cure

    by Eric Herman November 2018

    For most people, running a pioneering manufacturer of cartridge filter elements would take up all their time. For Christine Schaeffer, vice president of Meissner Mfg. Co., the parent company of Unicel, it's only part of her professional life.

    Away from her responsibilities at the company, which was founded in 1956 by her father, Richard Meissner, Schaeffer is deeply involved in advancing the state of the healthcare industry. Her resume includes a long list of health-related...

  • LPI Eliminating Dealer Program

    by Cailley Hammel October 2018

    In a significant shift in business strategy, LPI announced it is ending its domestic dealership program to focus on its direct-to-consumer retail division, Aqua Living Factory Outlets. The move, effective Jan. 1, 2019, will impact about 200 spa retailers who carry LPI portable spas, which includes the Catalina, Signature and Pinnacle brands. Aqua Living currently operates 35 stores, with 110 more expected to open over the next two years.

    LPI CEO Dave Hatley says the change is the...