Waterfront: February 2008

Pool Builders Hit The Small Screen Circuit

Pool installations on popular reality TV shows making the rounds

0208 15a Viking Pools and The Pool Guyz teamed up on two projects that aired on prime time TV late last fall. Episodes of TLC's Little People, Big World and ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition featured pool projects that each needed some personalized modifications before they were complete.

The Roloffs, the subject of Little People, Big World, are a family of six, three of whom are little people - including parents Matt and Amy - and three of whom are average-sized people. Building a pool accessible for little people and average- sized people has its challenges, so when Ric Reineke, president of The Pool Guyz, Virginia Beach, Va., took on the pool and spa project at Roloff Farms in Hillsborough, Ore., the setting for the show, he needed to map a few things out.

"What we did on this one was we made the step shorter so Matt would have an easier time getting in and out of the pool," says Reineke. "Any time you modify a fiberglass mold, it's a pretty big undertaking. We didn't really customize the mold, but when we popped the pool off it, we just cut the steps and put them back."

Reineke installed Viking's Gulf Coast 16-by-40 heated free-form pool, featuring a sapphire blue Crystite finish, perimeter and inlayed tiles, fiber-optic lighting, two waterfalls and an automatic pool cover. Reineke and his team also incorporated real boulders into the waterscape, courtesy of Roloff.

One of the main reasons the Roloffs decided to add a pool to their property was because of doctor recommendations. "Doctors had informed [Matt] that swimming was an excellent way for little people to get exercise because of the non-impact resistance that you can get with aquatic therapy," says Stacy Nelson, director of marketing for Viking. The family purchased the pool "kind of because the kids wanted one, but also because the little people in the family could benefit from it tremendously."

The companies then headed north to Washington to provide a pool for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition recipient Connie Chapin of Highlands Park.

Chapin has been running Angelfish Swimming out of her backyard since 2002. She began teaching the neighborhood children to swim in the same pool her parents built for themselves more than 20 years ago. "Swimming is our life," Chapin said on the show. "This is my livelihood." But due to the conditions of Chapin's home, the city threatened to shut down the business.

"This one was a doozy," says Reineke. "This one was a little more work for us because we had 13 hours to do it. " Reineke and his team provided Chapin with Viking's Island Breeze 16- by-40 heated rectangle pool. The pool features an in-floor Paramount cleaning system, two tiled swim lanes for her lessons, and fiber-optic lighting. But the biggest challenge came when the makeover team asked Reineke to have Chapin's Angelfish logo painted on the pool. "The last couple of days we had some pros in Seattle looking for hydroplane boat paint, racing boat paint, to put on this pool," says Reineke. "They did an all-nighter painting a logo on the bottom of this pool."

And what about the old pool? In an effort to keep up with greener practices, they tried to salvage the pool to have it reset by the original builder. But it was too far gone. Instead, they recycled it, along with the deck, fencing and siding of the house.

Go, Speedracer, Go

Um . . . is that a refurbished racing boat in the pool?

0208 15b Dan Arena, Petaluma, Calif., thought he'd add a little splash to his wife's birthday party this past July by floating their antique inboard fiberglass racing boat in the family pool. So how does one go about launching a half-a-century-old boat into a 20-by-40- foot pool? Arena, a veteran in the boat business, built a special trailer to back into the pool area, drop the boat and roll it into the water without damaging the pool or the family heirloom.

"It wasn't that difficult, but it just took a lot of time and effort in making sure it was done right," says Arena. "Again, we're talking about a boat that is one of a kind. My wife was having conniptions, as was my father." Needless to say, Arena took advantage of his self-confessed adrenalin rush. He kept the boat in the pool for about a week and even staged his 2007 Christmas card photo there.

"[The boat] was in for us to play with awhile because I didn't think I'd be doing it again for a long, long time," says Arena.

"Gladiator" Helps His Nana

Crowe chips in to help hometown build pool

0208 15c A drowning tragedy in Nana Glen, New South Wales, Australia, roused the humanitarian instincts of hometown hero and actor Russell Crowe, who responded with a large donation to help build the town's first swimming pool.

Famous for his Oscar-winning portrayal of General Maximus Decimus Meridius, a formidable leader of Roman legions and star of the Roman arena, Crowe was moved to act by the death of a local boy off the local Mid North Coast beach.

"A few years ago we had a tragedy in the valley with a kid dying," Crowe said in an interview with the Nine Network. "If this pool can save one life, it's been worth it." Of the 500 residents of Nana Glen, most were present for the opening ceremonies for the $875,000 aquatic facility. Geoff Huegill, world record holder and Olympic medal winner in the butterfly, swam the first lap, and Crowe himself dived in soon after without bothering to change into his swimming togs.

Always an advocate for Australian honor, Crowe hopes that the new pool may help a Nana Glen youngster get a leg up in Australia's storied history of competitive swimming. "I have fantasies of one day sitting up here in the valley and seeing a young'un competing for Australia at the Olympics," he said.

A Piece Of Heaven On Earth

Adam & Eve Hotels epitome of contemporary beauty

0208 15d Situated near Belek on the Turkish coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the award winning Adam&Eve Hotels describes itself as "Heaven on Earth." And for good reason.

Along with an ever-changing palette of colored light that washes the floor-to-ceiling mirror mosaics, this hotel boasts the 54,000-square-foot Eden Spa. This visual celebration of pleasure for the eye and mind is home to seven mesmerizing waterscapes.

Guests can dip their feet in one of the world's largest pools and find themselves merging with the sea and disappearing into the horizon. Or, for those who enjoy a little privacy, the night pool is perfectly tucked away in the Belek Forest for romantic seclusion. For more information visit adamevehotels.com.

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