Moderate Growth Projected for Hot Tub Industry

The aging population understands the benefits of hot tub ownership—they nurture and renew relationaships with family and, for most, they cost less than a two-week vacation. Photo courtesy Coast Spas

Compiled by Jason Cramp

Similar to the swimming pool industry, which was down slightly in 2013, the hot tub market also saw a minor dip in hot tub product last year.

According to Chris Robinson, sheet business manager for Lucite International, an acrylic-sheet manufacturer in Cordova, Tenn., the total number of hot tub units manufactured in 2013 was approximately 25,000, representing a 3.8 per cent decrease compared to 2012. In fact, between 2010 and 2012, hot tub manufacturing has remained relatively flat, hovering around 26,000 units per year. He also says the exchange rate has favoured Canadian company’s selling into the U.S., whereby imports have been growing; however, this is reversing now.

Don Elkington, president and CEO of Coast Spas, a manufacturer of prefabricated portable hot tubs and swim spas in Langley, B.C., says the company’s dealers showed increases in hot tub sales overall.

“Our average sale to our dealers and, therefore, to the end-consumer was at a much higher price tag,” he says. “The consumer is finally starting to understand the value of a proper hot tub and the benefits of buying from a respected manufacturer. So it is not just about a cheap hot tub and a low price it would seem. Customer service and aftermarket service are important.”

Doug Gillespie, director of marketing for Hydropool Hot Tubs, a manufacturer of prefabricated portable hot tubs and swim spas in Mississauga, Ont., also says his company had a good year.

“Hot tub sales were up 20 per cent; however, despite the fact more units were sold, the shift in the average price went down. That being said, the swim spa market grew significantly. More people are starting to understand what the product is and are installing them above-ground, which eliminate any complications.”

Read the full article: Spas

The Latest Outdoor Living Trend: Swim Spa Sales Increase as Retailers Focus on Water Therapy

The idea of a low-impact exercise routine for improved cardiovascular health is a big selling feature for swim spas. Photo courtesy BonaVista LeisureScapes

By Jennifer Gannon

For some builders who have traditionally found the installation of swimming pools to be challenging in some backyards—whether due to space or the homeowner’s budget—swim spas have opened the door to just about anyone looking for a large conventional pool. Swim spas, in a sense, are mini-versions of swimming pools, which can be installed just about anywhere, and accommodate swimming in place against a swift current. Where retailers truly benefit is the fact they can also promote the advantage of relaxation—especially after a swim or workout—in one of the jetted hydrotherapy seats these spas also offer.

Most swim spas are designed around jet pumps, which create a flat and uplifting current of water that enables continuous swimming up to 13 km/h (8 mph) without turning. The degree of resistance is also variable, which allows the swimmer to set the pace.

The idea of a low-impact exercise routine for improved cardiovascular health is a big selling feature for consumers. Further, swim spas are fun and safe for all ages and abilities; shallow enough for most children and non-swimmers, yet deep enough to satisfy the most serious swimmer, jogger, or water aerobics enthusiast.

Read the full article: Spas

Commercial Versus Residential Spas: Understanding The Differences Between Two Similar Products

Traditionally, commercial spas were installed in hotels, recreational facilities, and fitness centres; however, over the past several years, the industry has seen condominium developments flourish, and along with this, so too has the demand for commercial spas. Photo courtesy Coast Spas Inc.

By Richard Hall

Commercial spas have increased in popularity over the years, primarily due to three significant changes. First, because they fit into certain applications where concrete or tiled spas do not meet the customer’s criteria or location requirements; second, residential spas are not deemed acceptable, primarily due to the different design properties of the various engineering firms responsible for specifying spas; and third, updated municipal, provincial, and federal health and building codes—along with new industry standards—have contributed to the shift toward specially designed, constructed, and engineered units.

Read the full article: Installation Standards

Modern Hot Tubs—Efficiency Redefined: Understanding Energy Consumption

By Vic Walker

To raise the temperature in a hot tub containing 1,552 L (410 gal) of water by one degree it takes 1 kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity.
Therefore, a 1-kW heater will take one hour to raise the temperature, while a 4-kW heater will accomplish this task in 15 minutes. A larger heater does not use more energy to heat the water, it just heats it faster.
Higher voltage does not mean more energy use, either. Watts (W) or kilowatts (kW) equals voltage times amperage. For example, a 1-kW heater at 110 V uses 9 amps, whereas a 1-kW heater at 220 V uses 4.5 amps. Therefore, both 110- and 220-V heaters use the same amount of electricity to heat the water.

Read the full article: Modern Hot Tubs—Efficiency Redefined

Modern Hot Tubs—Efficiency Redefined: Green Manufacturing Processes

By Vic Walker

In today’s hot tub manufacturing environment, many improvements have come through the experience of other industries. For instance, the automobile manufacturing industry has proven the effectiveness of programs such as Lean,2 Just In Time3 (JIT), Kaizen4 (Japanese for ‘improvement’ or ‘change for the better’), and the International Organization for Standardization5 (ISO).
Many hot tub manufacturers are adopting these new techniques as ways to improve product work flow, manage inventory, and improve product quality. These programs are also important in reducing manufacturing waste.
Continuous improvement programs can deliver green manufacturing results through the very essence of Lean, which is waste reduction. In a quest to reduce operational waste on all fronts, the byproduct has always been reduced environmental waste. In fact, in the last few years, many companies have reduced manufacturing cycle times, process variability, and inefficiencies in all areas.

Read the full article: Modern Hot Tubs—Efficiency Redefined

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