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Offering Pool Services amid the Global Pandemic

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Alternatives to Trichlor

The Covid-19 pandemic brought about many challenges, especially in the economic sector. Businesses closed, and people lost jobs and their loved ones. However, the pool industry came out unscathed. Since most people worked from home, they looked for ways to revamp their backyards. As a result, there was a surge in demand for pool services from homebound homeowners. Although this was a good thing, increased demand was met by a shortage of supply and labor.

Offering Pool Services amid the GlobaL Pandemic

Everyone is home!

A member of Algae Busters Pool Service, Dick Abare, states, “Fortunately, a good percentage of our clientele wanted to renovate their yards amid the pandemic. This was the reason for the high demand for our pool services. Subsequently, we’ve been dealing with pool equipment installation and updating old pool systems.”

Unlike before, customers are now home 24/7 during projects. Gone are the days when pool contractors had the privilege of working alone on site. Clients are no longer going to work. So, they have enough time to monitor the project during their free time. Shannon Sellers of Jeff’s Pool and Spa can relate to this. He says, “There was this customer who had never bothered interacting with our pool service technicians before the pandemic. After the covid-19 restrictions, he kept monitoring the project closely. Unfortunately, he kept finding fault in everything our technicians did. In fact, there was one time he dropped a penny intentionally to see whether our contractors would take it.” Now, customers are monitoring every step of the project. And this does not have to be a bad thing. Consider using this as a source of inspiration.

Is the increase in prices caused by high demand?

Typically, increased demand usually leads to an increase in market prices. But this is not always the case. In 2020, shipping became twice as challenging due to travel restrictions. Moreover, communication with vendors was a huge challenge. All this led to increased prices. Even so, some companies like Aquatic Pool systems chose to retain their prices.

“Market prices keep fluctuating depending on the condition of the pool industry. But we decided to retain our prices, and we are still doing okay. But we plan to review our prices soon. The price of everything is going up; so, it would only be fair to raise our prices.”

owner of Aquatic Pool Systems, Rich Tarricone

What causes the supply shortage?

Unquestionably, the global pandemic is to blame for the shortage in supply. Currently, finding the latest pool products is challenging. In fact, Tarricone reports that he lost a customer because he couldn’t offer a specific product. Manufacturers are trying to keep up with the increased demand, but at the same time, they want to avoid stockpiling in the coming year. Customers think that we are lying when we say we don’t have a product.

How can pool experts deal with the supply shortage?

Some pool companies, like Tri-City Pools, choose to limit the products they supply at a time. This helps them prevent waste and supply what is needed.

A rise in theft cases

The majority of pool owners need pool equipment replacement services. However, it is impossible to offer what is not available. Unfortunately, some people end up stealing pool equipment. A customer whose pool heater, pump, and other equipment were stolen before she moved into her new house. Her pool service technicians had to find a solution to this problem. But after a few days, the equipment got stolen for a second time. Since people can’t find pool equipment easily, they resort to stealing.

The pool industry needs more workers

Most pool companies are experiencing a shortage of labor. Nowadays, finding a qualified pool service technician is not a walk in the park. So, it is challenging to keep up with the surge in demand. Not to mention, it is hard to find someone willing to stick with you through thick and thin. Abare says that teamwork is essential. His company deals with large and complex projects as a team.

Consequently, they are able to be more productive. And they recognize that we all need each other. He says, “You never know that you need people until work gets overwhelming.”

Pool services: Training and educating future pool technicians

The shortage of labor has led to training and education programs. The Florida Swimming Pool Association is now training aspiring pool service technicians. They offer a broad spectrum of courses that help in generating more labor in the industry. They provide virtual classes. Anyone who wishes to improvise their skills can register for the course. This kind of training will expand the pool industry in the long run. With this increase in demand, it would be beneficial to bring in more pool service technicians.

Pool companies should devise a solid strategy for dealing with the surge in demand for pool services. Although hiring more employees is expensive, it could pay off in the long run.

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Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email mpacker@poolmagazine.com your story idea.

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Las Vegas Pool Builder Receives Top Industry Award

Joseph Anthony Vassallo, CBP of Paragon Pools Named PHTA 2021
Builder of the Year

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Las Vegas Pool Builder - Joseph Anthony Vassallo, Vice President & Chief Design Executive of Paragon Pools was named the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) 2021 Builder of the Year

(Las Vegas, NV) Nov 21, 2021 – Las Vegan Joseph Anthony Vassallo, Vice President & Chief Design Executive of Paragon Pools was named the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) 2021 Builder of the Year at the Awards ceremony held on Nov 15th in Dallas, Texas during the Pool, Spa, Patio & Deck Expo.

The PHTA annually recognizes prominent achievements and outstanding performers in the pool, spa and hot tub industry of which include the Individuals Awards and the International Awards of Excellence Design Awards.

The Builder of the Year Award is a peer-nominated award given to one PHTA builder member who has advanced the pool building profession through outstanding achievements and dedication to the industry.

Nominees must meet a strict set of criteria, including commitment to being a positive role model for the profession and peers, have a proven track record of meeting or exceeding industry standards in designing and building pools and spas, must have been employed in the pool, hot tub, or spa industry for at least five years, has actively participated with PHTA at a local or national level and must be a current employee of a PHTA member company in good standing.

Vassallo, who is often referred to as Joe Jr. began his career as a design apprentice in his teens (1989). He found enjoyment in the challenge of conceiving and developing pool and landscape plans to complement the home’s architecture and restrictive plot layouts while designing a stunning custom design for the homeowner.

Following high school, he studied architecture, marketing, and small business management. He has continued to further his professional and technical skills with PSI Leadership Seminars, Tom Hopkins Seminars, Auto CAD-2000, Structure Studios 3-D training, PHTA University curriculum, ART- Artistic Resources and Training, as well as CEU’s in industry business and technical topics.

In 2001, Vassallo joined his father in opening the family business, Paragon Pools in Las Vegas. As the Vice President, Vassallo has been instrumental in the success of the company and creating a high standard for design and construction for company projects earning an expansive list of international design awards and business accolades over the years, including Masters of Design Awards, International Awards of Excellence Design Awards, Aqua Choice Design Awards,  Aqua 100 Hall of Fame, Nevada Business Journal Family Owned Business Honoree and Vegas Inc (formally InBusiness) 40 Under 40 Award to name a few.

In the nomination letter, Robert Blanda, CBP, PHTA Fellow, 2014 Builder of the Year submitted the following:

“Celebrating the 20th Anniversary Paragon Pools this year, Joseph Anthony Vassallo, CBP has had a long respected and celebrated career as a pool designer and builder in Las Vegas, NV.

He has been committed to ensuring and promoting professional development and the growth of the aquatic industry through a variety of activities including volunteering his time to serve on the Southern Nevada Chapter as well as the National Builders Education Committee (BEC) and Builders Manual Task Force…

Joe Jr. has always been very respectful of his fellow aquatic professionals. His high standards, design talents, knowledge of product and instincts are with true merit…  He is eager to share his knowledge and elevate the skills of others. I and others have sought his advice on projects on numerous occasions. And his contributions to the 3rd and 4th edition of the Builders Manual was extremely valuable…  

He is a fine example of what the BUILDER of the YEAR represents and has advanced the pool building profession through outstanding achievements and dedication to the industry.” 

Established in 2007, the PHTA Builder of Year Award is previously known as the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) Certified Building Professional (CBP) of the Year Award.  Vassallo joins a short list of only 17 honorees that span the United States, including his father, Joseph Michael Vassallo, CBP who received the award in 2012.

Joseph Vassallo Sr. – Owner of Paragon Pools, Joe Trusty – Editor of Pool Magazine, Joseph Anthony Vassallo – Vice President & Chief Design Executive of Paragon Pools – 2021 PHTA Builder of the Year

The Vassallo’s are the only father and son to both receive the distinguished accolade. The duo also received an International Awards of Excellence Design Award for their unique design in the category of – Spa built in conjunction with a pool.

# # #

ABOUT PARAGON POOLS Paragon Pools is an award-winning, custom, in-ground swimming pool and spa design/build construction company in Las Vegas, Nevada. The contractor specializes in new construction and major renovations of residential and commercial projects. Paragon Pools has received numerous accolades worldwide for its unique designs, trend setting applications and renovation projects. Their client list includes major hotels, casino moguls, sports stars, and celebrities. The company has been showcased in numerous TV, Cable and news profiles and featured on HGTV.com Designers Showcase.  https://www.paragonpoolslv.com

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Pool Industry Mourns The Loss of Grant Smith & Bob Lowry

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Grant Smith - Bob Lowry - Remembrance

The pool industry lost two of it’s best and brightest this week and was saddened to learn of the passing of widely respected professionals, Grant Smith and Bob Lowry.

This week many in the industry were gathering for the PSP Deck Expo in Dallas, TX. Colleagues were meeting after years of being separated by the pandemic and had been enjoying the opportunity to reconnect. The mood and energy were high at the Omni Convention Center. Pool Magazine editorial staff got to town early to help set up our own booth and cover some of the events being presented.

We were debuting our first printed issue of Pool Magazine, and I was personally excited to meet some of the industry professionals that I had been able to connect with virtually through social media. Over the past year, I had been corresponding with Grant Smith and engaging with him to become a contributor for our new publication. After a few easy-going conversations, Smith agreed to join our roster of op-editorialists.

I had published several of his op-ed pieces over the last year and was eager to get to meet him face to face and thank him for being a contributor. Shaking his hand and telling him how much I appreciated him being a part of our publication was something I was really looking forward to doing. I made sure to get one of his best op-eds in our first issue and wanted to hand it to him personally. Unfortunately, that never got to happen. Like many who got the sad news this week, I was on the expo floor when I found out that Grant Smith had suddenly and unexpectedly passed at the age of 50 years old.

His opinions were widely respected and from time to time would generate controversy on social media. Smith frequently inspired the type of intelligent debate that is the very lifeblood of our industry. A mentor and educator, he was eager to offer his expertise and help in any way he could. Evidently, that’s just the kind of person he was. The sort that have no compunction of giving their time and energy to help complete strangers.

For me, it was incredibly telling of the type of person he was and exemplified exactly what I’ve come to expect from those that lead our industry from the front. It should be of no shock to anyone that Smith was a United States Marine, they instill that type of character into their very best.

Bob Lowry, was equally greatly admired and respected throughout the industry. Known as a chemical service guru, Lowry was a thought leader on many issues pertaining to pool service. Many in the industry credit him with helping guide their career path and shape their approach towards water management. The author of a multitude of pool and spa water chemistry books, IPSSA manuals, and publisher of hundreds of technical articles and white papers over a 45 year span in the industry. He passed away in Lima, Peru on November, 17th after a long illness.

The news of the passing of both of these great educators in our industry leaves a hole in many of the hearts that knew and respected both of these incredibly warm and generous individuals. They will both be greatly missed.

There is a GoFundMe organized by Dave Penton to help assist with misc. final expenses – in lieu of flowers please consider a donation which will go directly to Grant’s family.

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This Rooftop Infinity Pool Design Will Take Your Breath Away

Infinity London – rooftop pool will feature 360 degree views of the city of London.

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360 Degree Infinity Pool Planned For London Hotel

One of the most innovative and incredible pool design concepts we’ve seen this year is an incredible breathtaking rooftop infinity pool planned for a new five-star hotel being built in London.

Infinity Pool Will Have 360 Degree Views of London

For thrill-seeking swimmers, the chance to take a death-defying dip might not be far away. Plans to build a rooftop infinity pool — with 360-degree views of the London skyline — are in motion.

The designs for the 600,000-liter pool and 55-story building, named Infinity London, have been unveiled by Compass Pools.
” – CNN Style

Unique Rooftop Pool Concept Will Be A First

Compass Pools, the designers of the project have released the 3D renderings for the 160,000 gallon pool and 55-story structure. The concept is a world first, according to the designers, who describe the construction as “the only building in the world to contain a 360-degree infinity pool.”

The pool will be manufactured out of cast acrylic with transparent sides and floors so that spectators below can watch swimmers gliding above them. The concept itself is similar in nature to another famous pool in London, the Sky Pool at the Embassy Gardens.

To keep water from splashing outside the pool area to the street below, the designers plan to deploy some unique containment methods on this vessel. This swimming pool will include advanced technical features such as a built-in anemometer that will monitor wind speed. The entire system will be linked to a centralized building management system which ensures the water temperature is perfect and doesn’t get blown down to the street below.

“We faced some quite major technical challenges to this building, the biggest one being how to actually get into the pool,” said Compass Pool’s head designer and technical director Alex Kemsley.

There are no stairs on the outside of the pool or the building to preserve its clean aesthetic; instead, swimmers will use a uniquely designed access point to get to the pool.

“The solution is based on the door of a submarine,” said Kemsley, “coupled with a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor when someone wants to get in or out — the absolute cutting edge of swimming pool and building design and a little bit James Bond to boot!”

Diagram of the staircase system used to access the pool area.

The entire pool will glow like a “jewel-topped torch” in the evening, according to the designers, who envision the entire top of the building being accented by the lit pool at night.

An innovative and eco-friendly method of heating the pool will utilize waste energy from the HVAC system. Engineers will capture hot gas created as a by-product from the building’s air conditioning which will be used to heat the pool water via a heat exchanger.

Photo Credits: Compass Pools

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