In The News: June 2006

Region X Board Dissolves; 2007 Show In Doubt

The Region X Board of Directors, stating it is seeking to serve the best interest of its members, recently voted to dissolve itself, endorsing the APSP Regional Service Center initiative.

In addition, The Southeastern Pool & Spa Show board of directors announced in April the decision to reschedule or cancel its 2007 show. Though show officials have not indicated definite plans to cancel the 2007 show at this point, the decision seems likely, according to show representatives. The show board reports it is currently working through the legal process of separating its show from Region X.

"With these changes for Region X and its members, we have to be sure that the show is properly incorporated and legally removed from Region X," says Wendy Purser, president of the Southeastern Pool & Spa Show board of directors, and show chairman. "Planning our next show requires a number of legal contractual commitments for facilities, hotels, vendors and more. We need to have the correct legal entities in place to coordinate all the logistics. Until we have the legal process of separating the show completed, we are unable to take these critical next steps."

One of the components of the APSP Strategic Business Plan, developed late in 2004 as it emerged from bankruptcy, was the establishment of Regional Service Centers. Centers were established "to disseminate national association programs to chapters and members, in accordance with the strategic business plan," according to the APSP. Also according to the business plan, regional trade shows affiliated with the APSP are to be managed by service contracts with the Regional Service Centers.

Sundance Spas Earns Good Housekeeping Seal 

After undergoing a detailed inspection and certification process, lasting about eight months, Sundance Spas has been awarded the "Good Housekeeping Seal" by Good Housekeeping Magazine.

"I was doing research on independent verifications and that sort of stuff," says Sundance Spas' director of marketing Bill Smelley. Sundance is, thus far, the only spa company that's ever been awarded the highly recognizable Seal, according to the company.

"As I was looking, the one that kept coming up on top always was 'Good Housekeeping.' So out of curiosity, I started talking to the magazine to find out what you have to do to qualify to get the seal. At that point I found out that it was a rather involved process. We had to provide them with all our customer communications for two years, complaints and compliments, all our warranty information, information on the solvency of the company, the background on our ISO certification, our marketing techniques, basically a review of our entire company. Then they had to go through all the data and verify it. They interviewed people in our engineering department, R&D, quality control; they interviewed dealers and consumers. They did all that and eventually awarded us the seal." Sundance plans to use the endorsement in all of its marketing, advertising and collateral material.

The Good Housekeeping Seal has been in existence since 1909, and is good for a year, after which time companies must undergo an annual review to keep it.

Cal Spas Completes Major Expansion

Pomona, Calif., manufacturer Cal Spas opened a new 500,000-squarefoot manufacturing facility late in April, the first of a planned threephase expansion. Phase two will add 300,000 square feet by the end of 2007 and phase three will complete the expansion with the addition of another 200,000 square feet, for a total of 1 million square feet. "It's taken us two years, but we're very excited to see this project through to completion," says Casey Loyd, president of Cal Spas.

Cal Spas says it found the expansion necessary as the company expands into other outdoor living categories. "We think that the backyard is now becoming like a home resort," says Loyd. "And these categories are growing — outdoor kitchens, outdoor enclosures, things that make the backyard more of an environment. It's not just like, 'Go and buy a spa and put it in the backyard' anymore. You actually go out and get a designer, lay it out. So there's a lot of product categories we decided to get into." Expansion, adds Loyd, is based on the growth of those categories and the growth of Cal Spas' "bread-and-butter" product, spas.

In addition to the square-footage expansion, Cal Spas will double its workforce to 1,200 employees in the next 24 months. "Right now we're soliciting and selecting and training people. We're bringing in so many a week, so that we have qualified, trained people building our product."

World Aquatic Health Conference To Offer Web Attendance

The World Aquatic Health Conference, to be held Sept. 19-21, in Austin, Texas, will for the first time this year offer seminars on the Web so that professionals from around the world may "virtually" attend.

"Guests who attend the conference live will be able to take advantage of all the networking opportunities. If they want to hear seminars that are scheduled at conflicting times, guests will also be able to register to view seminars on the Web beginning Oct. 1, 2006," says Thomas Lachocki, chief executive officer of the NSPF. "Alternatively, guests who are unable to attend live can register and view seminars on the Web in the convenience of their own offices or homes."

"We are excited to be able to bring the conference to a much wider world audience. With today's Web technology, registrants can have all the benefits of hearing these powerful scientific presentations without travel, lodging expense or time commitment," says Dr. Alex Antoniou, director of educational programs at the NSPF. "This is an incredible opportunity for organizations to sign up multiple people who can benefit from hearing the cutting-edge research that is revealed, and they can view and listen to these sessions when their schedules allow," he adds. Manufacturers and organizations can purchase Web seminar tickets to give to customers and others who can incorporate these seminars into employee development training. Web seminars will be available through March 31, 2007.


MARQUIS CORP., Independence, Ore., has signed a licensing agreement with Consumers Digest to use the magazine's Best Buy designation for Marquis' flagship Epic model. The Epic is the replacement model for the Euphoria, a spa that previously held the designation.

Shasta Industries, Phoenix, has acquired Fossilcrete, an industry leader in vertical concrete stamping systems based in Oklahoma City. Andy Blake, manufacturing operations officer for Shasta, will oversee the new business segment. Business operations and some manufacturing will move to Phoenix, with secondary manufacturing and all new product development remaining in Oklahoma City.

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