Waterfront: November 2003

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Morning Splash

Home-resort stage set featured on milestone broadcast.

To celebrate its 1,500th broadcast, Fox News Channel's morning cable show, Fox & Friends, broadcast the Aug. 22 show live from a "home resort" set outside its studios in midtown Manhattan. In addition to the program's standard fare of news and commentary, the show featured multiple segments staged around a mini-resort equipped with a gazebo and hot tub.

The night before the broadcast, Jim Dale, Chris Reppert and several others from Pelican Leisure, Quakertown, Pa., arrived on the set and began installing a Cal Spas hot tub and accessories. The set was a big hit with the producers and made a big public-relations splash for the industry.

That night when Access Hollywood aired footage of the Fox & Friends milestone, more than 81 million homes nationwide were exposed to the growing trend of home-resort living. Cal Spas products have made a number of national television appearances in the past year. "After one particular TV show that featured our products and Web site, our system registered a record number of hits in just 20 minutes," said Casey Loyd, Cal Spas president.

Up And Coming

Splash SportsPool a quick, convenient solution.

Portable pools are popping up everywhere. In August a Splash SportsPool was erected at Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J., in conjunction with the 2003 United States Masters Swimming Long Course National Championship. Supplied by Little Rock, Ark.-based Splash SuperPools, the pool was used as the official warm-up/cool-down pool for the 871 swimmers entered in the meet.

According to Scott Shroyer, manager of Splash's commercial pool division, the 25-yard, 83,000-gallon, four-lane pool was installed and filled in less than a week. He adds, "They wanted a dedicated outdoor warm-up pool and this pool was a well-suited, quick and economical solution to Rutgers' immediate and long-term outdoor aquatic needs."

When not filled with master swimmers preparing for an event, the pool will be available to Rutgers students from late spring to early fall.

Shroyer says Splash SuperPools has "provided a number of similar applications elsewhere in the country."

Picture Perfect

It looks like a vintage travel poster, but this attractive promotional piece is hot of the press. Alice Cunningham of Olympic Hot Tub Co. commissioned this and three other posters to commemorate the company's anniversary.

Go-To Guide

Comprehensive manual covers pool and spa basics and more. 

If you've got a question about how to maintain or manage a swimming pool or spa, chances are The Complete Swimming Pool Reference Second Edition has the answer. Author Tom Griffiths, the director of aquatics and safety officer for athletics at Penn State University, says the text "attempts to accomplish the formidable task of combining the most valuable elements of technical, practical and water safety publications to produce a book that can be used by anyone in aquatics."

As in its first edition, this reference book includes chapters on pool and spa maintenance and safety, first aid and lifeguarding. Service professionals may find Chapter 14 on "Pool Problems" particularly helpful. It's conveniently organized with causes, symptoms, suggested treatments and prevention tips for algae, cloudy water and other problems.

For the second edition, Griffiths made a few changes and added a few chapters. These include "Design of Leisure Pool Filtration Systems," "Improving Air Quality in Indoor Aquatic Facilities," "Recreational Water Illnesses," "Water Parks," "Body, Hair and Limb Entrapments" and "Emergency Action Plans."

The book also features a slew of helpful appendices, which include conversion charts, conservation tips, useful forms for pool operators, common water chemistry tests, safety guidelines and an extensive glossary.

— K.E.

The Complete Swimming Pool Reference Second Edition, Tom Griffiths, Sagamore Publishing ISBN 1-57167-523-x

Booming Backyards

Study indicates more homeowners are investing in backyards.

Outdoor rooms are "in." But is this phenomenon just marketing spin, or are people really setting up shop outdoors with refrigerators, stereos and $3,000 grills. According to the "Weber Outdoor Room Tracking Study," it's more than just hype.

Commissioned by the Weber Stephen Products grill company and conducted by the Internet research firm Synovate, the study found that an increasing number of Americans are making outdoor rooms an integral part of their homes. Characterized by home and design experts as a defined outdoor area with a cooking, eating and sitting space, the outdoor room is no longer simply plastic folding chairs circling a diminutive charcoal grill. Outdoor rooms are fully furnished, purpose built living spaces designed as an extension of a home's interior space. And people like 'em.

According to the survey of 1,000 owners of stand-up gas grills with household incomes over $75,000, nearly half of those who do not own an outdoor room said they are interested in having one (44 percent) and of those, 28 percent said they were at least somewhat likely to create an outdoor room this past summer. Notably, more than a third of current outdoor room owners said the space adds to their quality of life.

Outdoor room owners surveyed are equipping these spaces in ways that reflect the care they use in designing indoor rooms. Most have patio dining sets (79 percent) and flower beds (78 percent), and 66 percent have furniture separate from the dining set. In addition, many have outdoor stereo systems (38 percent), wet bars (9 percent), fireplaces (15 percent), refrigerators (11 percent), swimming pools (28 percent), hot tubs (18 percent) and lighting (35 percent).

Of those homeowners who have yet to outfit their outdoor rooms, 53 percent said they wanted a hot tub.

While U.S. consumers are adopting the concept of the outdoor room, the term itself is still working its way into their vocabularies. Industry experts use the term "outdoor room" frequently, but only 20 percent of those consumers surveyed who do not own an outdoor room had heard the term previously, and among outdoor room owners, only 32 percent. Most of the respondents defined an outdoor room as an enclosed or screened deck, patio, porch or sunroom.

Sunken Treasure

Advertising at the bottom of a pool Outdoor living is big news.

Swimmers at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way, Wash., might soon be seeing something other than their opponent as they race through the waters of this premiere swimming facility.

Because of a large cut in the facility's funding — nearly 35 percent of its general funds, according to Tom Koney, program manager for Enterprise Activities King County, based in Seattle — the county is offering advertisers a chance to display their logos at the bottom of the pool. Each logo covers as much as 192 square feet and costs $125,000 a year for two or $200,000 a year for four. They are hoping the revenue from these advertisements will help keep the facility open.

Built for the 1990 Goodwill Games, the Aquatic Center attracts more than 500,000 people annually, one-third of whom come for major swimming and diving events.

Although there has been some concern about the ads adversely affecting swimmers, Koney says advertisements that will hinder the attractiveness of the pool to users will not be considered.

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