Home pool, spa dealers seeing sales spike
With many public pools closed last summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, swimming pool dealers saw a spike in sales.
“Our industry experienced 24% overall growth last year,” said Janay Rickwalder, Pool and Hot Tub Alliance spokesperson.
Sales at Holiday Pools and Spas, Duncansville, were up 35-40 percent over a typical year, said President Mark Glova.
Glova said he remains busy this spring.
“It has been through the roof, we can’t keep up with it, the phones are ringing off the hook for above ground pools. People aren’t traveling as much and are trading vacation dollars into back yard dollars. They are creating a permanent staycation,” Glova said.
Greenwood Pools & Spas also saw an increase in sales.
“We have seen an increase in sales and it is continuing because people are still staying home and putting money into their homes. Sales were up, but it could have been better if we could get the products, demand was high and supply was low,” President Randy Colyer said. “We have a few above ground pools in stock but they are slow coming in, you need to get them ordered as soon as possible. It is the same with hot tubs, we have a few but the supply is short.”
If you buy a pool today it won’t get installed for quite some time.
Above ground kits are being sold cash and carry, meaning the buyer needs to get someone else to install it or do it himself.
“We are booked into later summer 2022 for in-ground pool installations so just about 1.5 years out,” Glova said.
“If you want me to install it (above ground pool) it will be near the end of this year and into next year. For us to install an inground pool it may take
1 ½ to 2 years, normally there is a turnaround time of 3-6 months,” Colyer said.
The cost of building pools has been going up.
“The increase in materials pricing is a key topic of conversation in the construction industry. The National Association of Home Builders estimates that the price of lumber has increased by more than 180% since last spring, and CNN recently announced that steel prices sitting at a record high that is nearly triple the 20-year average. Couple that with an industry that has seen a surge of demand in the past year, and you’ve got a perfect storm facing pool builders across the country,” Rickwalder said.
“Prices are going through the roof,” Colyer said.
Pool owners may also face a more difficult time getting chlorine tablets for their pools this summer.
The chlorine shortage resulted from a pandemic swimming pool boom that increased demand for chlorine and a major chemical plant fire in Westlake, Louisiana, in August that disrupted the supply chain.
“Media reports about a chlorine ‘shortage’ have created concern among pool owners about their ability to properly maintain and operate their pools.,”Rickwalder said. According to these reports some chlorine tablets are scarcer than in previous years. However, we are not aware of any substantial disruptions in the supply of chlorine in liquid, powder, and other tablet forms.”
Both Glova and Colyer have chlorine available.
“When I heard about the factory fire, I pre-ordered a year’s worth of it early. I am ahead of the game, but I still haven’t received all of it. There is a demand, but the media put people into a panic. Chlorine is the new toilet paper of COVID,” Glova said.
“There is a shortage but it was created by the media and Google. This created panic buying and people fed into it. There is a shortage, but we have some and will be getting more in. I may not have it today, but I can get it in a few days,” Colyer said.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at