Waterfront: October 2007

For Those Who Like To Soak

Cal Spas salutes Hollywood on the Sunset Strip

1007 17aWhat better way to unwind during a Los Angeles summer night than kicking it at the first-ever Cal Spas hot tub party at Boulevard3 nightclub on the Sunset Strip?

Cal Spas and Boulevard3 partnered to host the event, which proved to be very successful. At least 800 partygoers agreed it was definitely the place to be. "We did it because we thought it would be a fun and unusual way to expose an attractive demographic to our products," says Cal Spas spokeswoman Nicole Lasorda. "Everyone had a lot of fun!"

Celebrities like NFL stars Vince Young and Jerry Rice, the Phoenix Suns' Amare Stoudemire and actor Wilmer Valderrama enjoyed seven private cabanas set up for VIPs - each housing a top-of-the-line Cal Spas hot tub. The hot tubs seated six and featured color-changing waterline lights and up to 70 jets. Of course, swimsuits and towels were provided.

Club-goers enjoyed fashion shows in the outdoor garden, where former Playboy Playmates and Penthouse Pets modeled the designs. Other models soaked in two hot tubs placed on elevated platforms on the club's dance floor, which was later turned into a "beach" volleyball court. And don't forget the food. A tropical-themed feast was grilled on two Cal Flame barbecue carts for everyone to enjoy.

Beer, Bikinis And Babes In A Hot Tub

No, it's not a reality TV show - it's a convenience store

"I'll take a six-pack of Miller… and is that a hot tub?" And so starts another typical day at the office for Don Talley, owner of Don's Fly Thru Beer Barn in Longview, Texas. In an effort to placate impatient customers, Talley recently installed a hot tub outside his store's drive-up window and filled it with not only hot water, but women, too. While "Don's Darlings" splash around and enjoy the sun, customers waiting in line can ogle them.

Although some residents aren't too happy with Talley's new marketing scheme, Talley says he's making a lot of money. Besides, he "takes care" of his darlings, most of whom are single moms. One of his classified ads says he offers them health benefits and cosmetic surgery.

Apparently, Talley didn't get the memo about the portable spa industry's efforts to shift the product's image away from a brewing pot of sex and move it toward hydrotherapy and family togetherness. But at least Talley is concerned about equal rights: he says some days he'll have men in the hot tub, too.

It Doesn't Sound So Crazy Now

We Fix Ugly Pools sets record for fastest pool build

1007 17c"The average pool project for most builders takes about 45 to 60 days," says Brian Morris, owner of We Fix Ugly Pools, a pool builder and renovator in Phoenix. So when Morris said his company was going to build a concrete pool in one day, "I had a lot of people telling me how crazy I was."

But Morris, and what he dubbed his "all-star team" of more than 200 employees and subcontractors, did the unthinkable: they built a concrete pool from excavation to swimmable in just under six hours. "There's nothing more impressive than watching the excavation get done in 48 minutes, or watching the steel get done in 35 minutes, or watching the shotcrete get done in an hour and twenty minutes. The Phoenix Fire Department filled the pool in nine and a half minutes. It was just phenomenal," says Morris. "We started at 6 a.m. and were hoping to get done in time to be on the five o'clock news, but we were finished by the 12 o'clock news.

"What's even crazier about all this is we exhibited at a home show on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday after this pool build, and we had three TVs set up showing a four-and-half-minute-long summary version of the build," adds Morris. "Every day of the show, all day long we had about 75 people watching this DVD, just entranced. And nobody left without watching the whole DVD at least once. We ended up taking about 420 leads out of that home show." Morris chose Aug. 1 for the build to coincide with the beginning of Drowning Impact Awareness Month. He wanted to show how the pool, which is fenced and has a manual cover, can be both safe and attractive.

Through the event, Morris also brought awareness to the fact that the company, which originally only did renovations, now also does new pool construction. Finally, after seeing home makeover shows use only fiberglass pools, Morris wanted to show that you can do a concrete pool in a very short amount of time, as well.

All The World's A Stage - Even Swimming Pools

Two theater companies took their shows below the tile line

1007 17dStaging theater in a pool can be as challenging as crafting a vanishing edge that seamlessly blends into the body of water behind it. You can do it, but it's going to take some extra time and effort. For The One That Got Away, performed last summer in Vancouver, the play's 13 actors submerged themselves in water four to six hours a day to rehearse the story of a girl who's drawn into her dead grandfather's watery purgatory to rescue her heart. "The rehearsal process [was] difficult," said publicist Emma Lancaster. "We had to buy everyone wetsuits because they were getting so cold." Even after the actors spent hours in the water, they still had to shower incostume after each performance to remove as much chlorine as possible, according to Lancaster. Then the costumes were individually laundered to remove the rest before the next show. Since acquiring floating props was another issue, homemade props were the way to go. Styrofoam supplies and oilbased finishes aided in creating floatable sets without damaging the pool's chemistry, and special lighting sequences allowed the appearance of effects such as a blood-red color rather than using an actual dye. As a result, the pools didn't require special chemical treatment or draining.

The Pegasus Players, a theater company in Chicago, also took on the challenge of staging a play in a pool earlier this year. They performed a Stephen Sondheim adaptation of The Frogs, a musical which debates the relative greatness of playwrights Shakespeare and Shaw, and the upshot is that the greatest playwright gets a chance to return from the dead to save the world.

The frogs serve as the play's chorus, and since frogs live in water, this musical's chorus got to sing and swim at the same time - no simple task. For starters, at auditions, held with a lifeguard on hand, actors were asked to swim the length of the pool while singing. "I found it was easier to sing while doing the backstroke," said Blaine Swen, an actor in the show. "You just had to be careful not to splash water in your mouth."

"I thought it would be really difficult," said Kiwi Callahan. "But it's not that much different than singing and dancing at the same time."

Since the stage had to float, the set designer created a large disk, about 24 feet across, with a hole in the center. It was tethered to the side of the pool, rocking gently. The actors slither on, off, under, over and pop through the center of the stage in all manner of amphibian acrobatics. In addition, the entire cast wore rubber-bottomed "aqua socks" to avoid tumbling on the floating stage.

Despite being wet and chilly for two hours a day every weekend for a couple months, Callahan said, "This is the most fun I've ever had doing a play."

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