2024 AQUA 100 Winner: The Spa and Sauna Co.

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All photos courtesy Laura Varnon

The roots at The Spa and Sauna Co. run deep. In fact, they go all the way back to the early days of the portable hot tub industry itself, with the company co-owner Shelley Ingram-Clark’s father, David Ingram, having founded Caldera Spas — later selling the company to Watkins Manufacturing, now known as Watkins Wellness. “I started in the family business in 1983, which is how I met my now-husband Scott Clark [owner of The Spa and Sauna Co.],” says Ingram-Clark.

Scott Clark began working in the hot tub industry in the late 1980s, selling hot tubs at a Hot Spring Spa/Finnleo Sauna dealership in the Bay Area. In 1990, he opened his own store in San Jose called South Bay Spa and Sauna. “I then met Scott when I visited his store as a sales representative for Caldera Spas,” recalls Ingram-Clark.

“Whether customers engage with us on the web or in our showroom, they are always met by the same professional, friendly and knowledgeable team. We pride ourselves on making the shopping process easy.” —Scott Clark, Owner

The two married in 2000 and after a brief period working traveling spa shows, their family and business settled in the Reno, Nev., area in 2002, where they opened The Spa and Sauna Shop. “Quick growth occurred between 2013 and the present, and we opened new store locations every couple of years, initially in the Reno area, and later in different geographical regions servicing California and Nevada,” says Clark. Today, the company has six locations under the name The Spa and Sauna Co., including several dedicated warehouses, and, in a full circle moment, Watkins Wellness serves as its primary spa and swim spa manufacturer.

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Across all six locations, the showrooms, despite having gone through many design changes over the years, have a similar feel regardless of location. “This is intentional,” says Ingram-Clark. “For example, we make sure to have dozens of hot tubs on the showroom floor, and often a wet model or two can be viewed at all times. Most locations also have a private wet test area.”

As for its marketing, The Spa and Sauna Co. follows the philosophy of Marcus Sheridan, “They Ask, You Answer,” and has won many awards, including the Alice Cunningham Marketing Award from Caldera Spas and Hot Spring Spas two years in a row. The company spearheads and coordinates monthly meetings for the “Hot Tub Marketers” group, which formed in 2021 and brings together hot tub retailers from around the country to discuss new marketing developments and share ideas.

“Over the years, we have created repeatable marketing events and calendars, recognizable television commercials, effective Google Ad campaigns, and much more,” says Clark. Over the pandemic period, The Spa and Sauna Co. also launched a new email CRM and its online store, ensuring continued growth over the uncertain time. “Our online store now generates more chemical and filter sales than some of our brick-and-mortar locations do. We have customers from all over the United States.”

As The Spa and Sauna Co. continues to grow — the company is planning to expand in Southern Nevada, as it recently opened a location in Las Vegas — its team stays grounded, giving back to the communities that have helped to keep them going. “Since 2018, we have donated a total of six hot tubs to veterans through the Hot Tubs for Heroes program. Our entire team gets to vote on who those recipients will be, and appreciates the opportunity to support our local veterans,” says Ingram-Clark. They also donate to the Make-A-Wish foundation, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Children’s Miracle Network, and participate as a Toys for Tots drop-off location, support local sports teams, and many more philanthropic initiatives.

“But above all, we continue to enhance the spaces of our customers and serve with integrity,” says Clark. “We hope to do so for many years to come.”

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