2024 AQUA 100 Winner: Pioneer Valley Fiberglass Pools and Spas

4 A 424 Aq Pioneer Valley
All photos courtesy Clancy Kaye

Clarence (Clancy) Kaye, president and CEO of Pioneer Valley Fiberglass Pools and Spas — who before founding Pioneer Valley had an extensive background in construction and engineering — knew there was an alternative to more traditional vinyl-liner or gunite pool products on the market: fiberglass. “But for years, there was a common misconception about fiberglass pools here in the Northeast,” says Kaye. “Competitors created a fear around them, and told homeowners they would ‘pop out of the ground,’ saying they can’t withstand the winter conditions we experience in our area.”

Kaye did some research, as he did not want to sell an unsuitable product, and found the claims were simply not true. “It was the competitors only defense to a customer looking at fiberglass,” he says.

“Our core belief has always been to deliver an exceptional fiberglass installation experience in the most efficient manner, while also providing our staff with opportunities, support and a positive experience.” —Clancy Kaye, President/CEO

Pioneer Valley, then, confidently started to sell fiberglass pools (they work with Leisure Pools), and as consumers came around to understanding fiberglass, the company grew from a home office operation with minimal staff into something much larger: Kaye has now built his dream facility, a design he dreamt up almost 20 years ago.

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The new facility opened its doors in 2019, complete with a massive showroom, design center, and distribution facilities. Then in 2023, Pioneer Valley finished a huge addition to the store — an outdoor pool park, complete with six fully functional fiberglass pool installations across 4.5 acres of prime real estate. “The idea was to build an experience unlike other pool stores,” says Kaye. “On top of the fiberglass pools, we showcase patios, water features, outdoor kitchens, pergolas, automatic retractable pool covers, fire pits and more, all in the outside showroom. Play areas and a small mini golf course were also included to entertain children while the adults conduct business.”

The facility will also help to give back to Pioneer Valley’s surrounding community, as Kaye plans to host a series of fundraising efforts throughout the 2024 year. “We believe that giving when no one is watching is important. But, having said that, we have a facility that we can promote to raise even more money for good causes.” The company is selective in what charities they donate to, and seek out organizations with very low administrative costs to ensure 95% or more of the donations go to the people who need it most.

Pioneer Valley Fiberglass Pools and Spas has also discovered there is no more important means of marketing than word of mouth. “We derive 50 to 60% of lead generation from referrals,” says Kaye. “If you can deliver a world-class experience on budget and on time, you have now effectively hired another sales spokesperson who will naturally work for you when they engage with friends and colleagues. And while other means of marketing are required [Pioneer Valley does television commercials, social media and boasts a well-designed and effective website], word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective and at no cost.”

Today, the company has many awards under its belt including National Pool Builder of the Year, Regional Pool Builder of the Year, Leisure Pools’ Most Valuable Partner, and many local awards, such as being recognized in the Readers Rave Awards many years in a row.

Even with all its success, the Pioneer Valley team continues to challenge each other to do more. “While we are at the top of our game and have become the most sought after builder of fiberglass pools,” says Kaye, “there is no letting up on the gas pedal for us. We want to take from the vast experience we have and continue to grow our business to the next level.”

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