Olympus Pools is back in the media again and now facing a $1.1 million dollar lawsuit with the country’s largest pool supply distributor SCP. A recent lawsuit filed in Pasco County by SCP Distributors LLC is suing Olympus Pools for over a million dollars in equipment delivered and installed in customers backyards. This is yet another challenge Olympus Pools, a once prestigious and well known builder faces amidst an onslaught of bad publicity due to allegations of unfinished pools and ongoing lawsuits.
It appears that SCP intends to go after Olympus Pools rather than begin putting liens on homeowners. This latest recent development has begun to make many trade partners and subcontractors extremely concerned.
Brian Leung, an attorney for SCP, said the distributor agreed to a promissory note with Olympus recently last month in April to settle the debt. In it’s lawsuit, SCP said that Olympus Pools had 6 months to pay off the $1.1 million dollar debt owed to the supplier. To date, Olympus has failed to make the first installment payment of $191,000 which prompted the recent litigation.
Leung said that when Olympus Pools failed to meet the agreed upon installment payment, that triggered the litigation which now seeks the full amount in addition to 18% interest.
Response to recent SCP Lawsuit
We reached out to Olympus Pools owner James Staten for comment about the ongoing issue with SCP and received an official statement via his public relations representative .
“Even though we continue to do business with SCP daily, they felt after the media reports it was in their best interest to secure our credit line.”Olympus Pools – Public Relations Representative
“In my opinion, it is disappointing that despite being one of their best customers for many years, they chose to make things more difficult for our clients and team instead of supporting us during this time. However I’m sure we will get it resolved with them soon enough.”
In a statement a month ago to Pool Magazine, Staten responded to allegations directly and listed a variety of reasons why Olympus Pools had fallen behind on jobs. Staten cited the recent shortages of labor and materials impacting the pool industry.
“The conditions that arose during the pandemic, instead of increasing 20 to 30 percent we doubled in size.” said Staten.
While the pool industry itself may understand Staten’s plight, homeowners and investigative reporters have been much less sympathetic. Staten has faced virtual non-stop calls, picket lines and visits from reporters since the story first broke roughly 2 months ago. Backlash from customers has been brutal on social media. Consumer watchdogs and investigative reporters said hundreds of pools currently remain unfinished.
Staten admits that he and his staff sold way too many pools last year. Ultimately, he said that he “takes full responsibility” for the situation. However, homeowners have been livid at the waiting times as their projects have lingered. Many customers have complained that Staten continued to take on new projects while their backyards remained an ongoing construction zone for months and months past their promised deadlines.
Homeowners are increasingly concerned they could get stuck footing the bill for Olympus Pools unpaid subcontractors. Some homeowners have begun receiving liens in the mail.
Rumors of Criminal Investigation
Olympus Pools may face worse problems aside from the million dollar lawsuit filed by SCP. A spokesperson for the company responded to Pool Magazine inquiring about a recent report by ABC Action News that indicates 2 separate Florida counties have opened criminal investigations into allegations of fraud and misuse of funds.
“We have heard through the media that it is actually Hillsborough, Polk and Pasco counties. While we won’t speculate on behalf of law enforcement, what we can tell you is that we have not broken any laws and we are working to get these pools finished. There are a few people out there, however, who have become obsessed with seeing our company destroyed, despite their pools being finished.” said Olympus Pools in a statement to Pool Magazine.
Staten himself says that no wrong doing took place. “I know we have committed no crime. Just because someone makes a report or tells a story it does not mean that it is true.” said Staten in a statement to investigative reporter Jackie Callaway.
Many Olympus Pools customers have reached out to Pool Magazine over the last few weeks, sending us photos of their job sites, complaints and the various stories and news articles that have been written about Olympus Pools. The amount of negative attention in the media has surmounted to the point where Staten has brought in a professional press relations consultancy firm to help communicate with the media. In a statement released to Pool Magazine, an Olympus Pools representative said:
“Individuals have coordinated attacks on our company through a private Facebook group. They’ve coordinated physical pickets and protests on the street, coordinated efforts to reach out to the media and coordinated efforts to reach out to law enforcement. As a result, authorities clearly have to take those claims seriously, however, as I have said before, we have not broken any laws and we are still here. We’re completing work every day. We are not hiding and we are not going anywhere. We will finish all of the jobs we started, so long as our license remains intact.”
Olympus Pools Responds to Subcontractor Complaints
We questioned Olympus Pools point blank about recent allegations made by local subcontractors that are complaining to the media that they have not been paid. Recently Humberto Jimenez made a claim that he was owed over $380,000. Another contractor Brian Wagner had claimed he was owed over $73,000.
“$73,000 is huge for us. We could potentially lose half our employees,” Wagner told investigative reporter Jackie Callaway. “Our last resort is to file a lien. It is something we have discussed and really don’t want to do.”
“I didn’t want to speak out because I don’t want to start trouble and not get work from other builders.” Jimenez told Pool Magazine Editor Joe Trusty, “Many other subcontractors are owed money too, and they are afraid to speak out for the same reason.”
We inquired with Olympus Pools as to both of these particular contractors that reported to the media they had not been paid, a public relations represenative for Staten said the following:
“Regarding Mr. Jimenez, his statement that he is owed $380,000 is flat out false. Last week, he told the media it was $300,000 and we provided proof of payments to the reporter. We spoke to the person who handles Mr. Jimenez’s accounting and she told us that there is an issue on their end and that they failed to apply payments we made to their invoices. According to his own accounting people, they haven’t recorded our payments. As soon as Mr. Jimenez has his accounting in order, and it is accurate, we will review his invoices and determine the accurate amount to see if in fact there is a balance to settle. Regarding Brian Wagner, we have paid him $47,512 in the last 6 weeks and now owe him less than $24,000.”
It is important to note that Olympus Pools has made some headway with subcontractors since our last report. Pool Magazine Editor – Joe Trusty, was in communication with Aaron Allen of Paver Solutions who recently reported that his firm had finally reached a resolution with Olympus Pools.
Can Olympus Pools New Plan of Action Reverse The Damage?
In a phone call back in April with Pool Magazine, Staten insisted that he fully intends to finish each of the projects Olympus Pools has been contracted for. He also said that he would not take on a single new project until his company was caught up on their current jobs.
“We’ve cut off taking deposits, we’ve cut off starting excavation. all we’re focusing on is the jobs under construction,” Staten said.
As far as the homeowners who are afraid their jobs will not be completed, Staten said “Their pools are going to get completed. We are working tirelessly. I promise you, you won’t find anybody, any company out there working harder. We doubled the size of our in-house construction team so we can be more self-reliant and give better service.”
While the lawsuit and criminal allegations aside may prove to be nothing, Staten has a lot of work to do in terms of repairing Olympus Pools reputation. We asked them what they plan to do in order to restore confidence with the community and with their trade partners.
Staten insists that he has the funds to complete the projects he is under contract for. Recently he released a press release saying that he was partnering up with respected builder Jordan Hidalgo and Pools by Jordan to help finish jobs in a more timely fashion. This is news which may bode well for homeowners. Staten seems to have made considerable headway since partnering with Hidalgo who will now be managing administration, accounting, permitting, purchasing, and customer relations starting Tuesday.
Since May 10, Olympus Pools has completed the following:
- 26 Pools passed final inspections
- 18 pools have had concrete work completed
- 13 job sites have been cleaned up by cleaning crews
- 12 pre-grades were completed
- 11 pools had electrical work completed
- 11 pools had brick and tile completed
- 10 pools had plumbing work completed
- 4 screen enclosures have been completed
- 3 pools had plaster work completed
- 2 retaining walls completed
“I’m looking forward to putting this chapter behind Olympus and showing what our talented teams are capable of accomplishing together,” said Hidalgo.
Only just last year, Olympus Pools had an “A” rating with the BBB. The story this year is much different. Outsiders can only hope that bringing in a seasoned veteran like Hidalgo can turn the tide. Homeowners, law enforcement and the entire pool industry are watching closely.
The pressure is certainly on Staten to deliver. Although it may seem that forces are conspiring against him, there is probably not a single person involved in this entire mess that truly wants to see Olympus Pools fail.
Not the reporters and investigators who are just doing their job. Certainly not the employees whose futures and reputations are entwined with Olympus Pools. Neither do the trade partners and subcontractors that helped build Olympus into what it was. Nor the homeowners who entrusted Olympus Pools to be good shepherds of their backyard dream. Truth be told, the homeowners are probably the last ones in the world that want to see this company fold.
Right now, one can only speculate as to whether or not Olympus Pools can make a recovery and hopefully salvage a once highly respected reputation in the pool world, as well as their own local community.
Olympus Pools Faces Allegations of Unfinished Pools
A growing number of customers have begun to complain that Olympus Pools has not finished their pools…
Complaints have begun to surface from a growing number of customers of Lutz, FL based Olympus Pools. Customers have begun to complain to Better Call Behnken of NBC in Tampa that they are fed up with unfinished pools and little communication from the company. Customers complained to local news station WFLA NBC Channel 8 that they’ve signed contracts over a year ago, have spent tens of thousands of dollars and see little recourse in sight as they continue to wait for their pools to be finished.
Olympus Pool Complaints
“I spoke with the owner’s wife, Alexis, probably about two or three weeks ago and she went over some of the issues they were having and I felt like I believed her and trusted it was getting back on track, but the proof is somebody shows up and actually does my pool,” said Holly Taylor-Hanke, of Wesley Chapel.
Taylor-Hanke signed a contract in March 2020, but she still has a shell of a pool and claims no one from the company has set foot on her property in over a month. She claims that commitments are made and appointments are set, but that staff do not turn up.
Homeowners take to Social Media to complain
Taylor-Hanke’s story seems to not be unique. Homeowners in Pasco, Hillsborough, and Manatee counties have turned to consumer advocates like Shannon Behnken for help. A large number of customers have also taken to social media to voice their concerns.
Man Lam of Wesley Chapel decided to build a pool for his 5-year-old-son in September of 2020. Lam said he paid $54,000 in cash in order to receive a discount from Olympus Pools. Now almost eight months later his pool remains unfinished – and he expressed growing concerns about the foundation of his home.
“The soil degradation is because of rain forcing the soil into the pool, and they’ve addressed it by bringing in workers here and just putting soil back into the foundation,” Lam said.
Lam says workers left his job sitting for six weeks and only came back this week to do emergency repairs and to add more soil underneath his home.
“There has to be a long-term solution, because the rain is coming and it’s going to form again, with a hole underneath my house,” said Lam.
Pool Magazine reached out to the company yesterday for a comment but had not received a response by the time this article was published. Better Call Behnken likewise did not receive a response from Olympus Pool owners James and Alexis Staten when they attempted to reach them.
Big Problems After a Huge Year of Growth
Prior to recent events, Olympus Pools had held an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau. Their accreditation has since been revoked. The companies rating has now dropped to a “C+” the cause of which has been Olympus Pools failure to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints.
A check of recent permits applied for by Olympus Pools shows that the pandemic brought a huge influx of new business to the company. In 2019 the company had pulled 351 permits in Pasco and Hillsborough counties, that number jumped up to 597 permits in 2020. Aside from a terrific sales year, records show that Olympus Pools received a $264,800 PPP loan in April 2020.
John Vanburen in Tampa said that he first hired Olympus Pools nine months ago. Vanburen says workers have left his backyard an eyesore and haven’t returned in weeks. He also complained of work that has been performed repeatedly failing inspection again and again.Read Aaron A.‘s review of Olympus Pools on Yelp
Complaints from Subcontractors have emerged
Complaints have also begun to surface from subcontractors who claim they have not been paid. Aaron Allen of Paver Solutions, a local contractor whose been in business for over 20 years took to Yelp to voice his frustration. We spoke with Allen and he says he refuses to remove the review even if he’s paid the $20,000 he says Olympus Pools still owes his company.
Olympus Pools has posted a message on their website that the waitlist to start pool construction is now 5 months. This however does not appear to answer questions existing customers have. Some complain they’ve been waiting for over a year for their pool to be completed but the company continues to take on new business while their projects remain unfinished.
Featured Photo Credit: WFLA News
Scott Walk is one of the Top Pool Designers / Pool Builders in Georgia
Chatting with Scott Walk, one of the leading pool designers in Georgia today.
We got the chance to catch up with one of the leading pool builders in the state of Georgia today. Scott Walk of Scott Walk’s Premier Pools & Spas in Alpharetta, GA has made a name for himself. The last few years, Walk has worked to become one of the top rated pool builders in the local area.
A member of the Premier Pools & Spas franchise, the Walk family actually independently owns and operates two locations – one in North Georgia, and the other in Chattanooga, TN. Their family business has been one of the cornerstones that model and define the successful formula Premier Pools has been able to reiterate throughout the country.
Building Pools is a Family Business
Scott Walk who comes from a previous background in construction and home remodeling, first got his start in the pool industry approximately ten years ago. Together, he and his wife Kim Walk have established one of the largest pool construction operations in the state of Georgia. Their son Ashton also works for the family’s thriving business and has been closely learning the industry side by side with his father over the past five years.
Walk attended the prestigious Genesis program. He says he’s focused now on becoming one of the top pool builders in the country. SWD registered with Genesis, less than fifty individuals nationwide have achieved the certification level he has.
Pool Kings Project: Georgia Peach Pool Paradise
Walk has had one of his projects showcased nationally on the DIY Network hit TV show Pool Kings. Consequently, the episode helped draw mass attention to his work. The reality home improvement show is quite popular. Each episode has been watched by millions of television viewers and is closely followed in the pool industry.
We asked Walk what it was like working on such a high end project, and what gave him the skillset to start building luxury inground pools.
“Working on the Pool Kings show was a unique opportunity. It is a rare privilege to be able to showcase your work to such a diverse audience. The feedback we’ve received has been incredible.”Scott Walk – Owner of Scott Walk’s Premier Pools & Spas
“Initially we went through several changes in the design process, but ultimately wound up with a concept that delivered on all of the clients wishlist items.” said Walk. “This particular project was difficult. We faced some challenges with excavation and the weather.”
Walk said that his two main concerns throughout the project were being able to deliver a premium product to the homeowner while meeting filming and scheduling deadlines. “You know, they make it look so easy on TV. Trust me it is alot harder than it looks.” said Walk.
Walk’s prior experience in building luxury pools assisted him heavily on this particular project. Since attending the Genesis program, Walk says he has been consistently increasing the level of difficulty and complexity in the projects he has undertaken.
“They were looking for over the top pool designs for the show. We had to deliver!” said Walk. “We were able to showcase the range of our abilities and included some phenomenal pool features not found in your typical build.”
Luxury Pool Features
Scott guided us through some of the remarkable amenities in this resort style luxury pool. “There’s really so much we built into this backyard. We’ve got the beach entry pool with bubblers. A lazy river with a bridge to an island that has a super sized spa.” said Walk. “We’ve also incorporated a slide and two waterfalls in this pool. Not to mention the work that went into building this incredible outdoor kitchen area.”
From start to finish this particular project was over 5 months in the making said Walk. In the end, he and his crew worked nearly round the clock. It was necessary in order to meet the deadlines for the episode to run in time. Ultimately, his team delivered and in magnificent fashion. The completed pool and backyard is nothing short of breathtaking.
Walk and his team worked hard and the effort shows. Consequently, the end result is a truly unique and one of a kind luxury pool design. This is a five star resort style backyard that any homeowner would envy. We asked Walk where his inspiration comes from on these projects and what the design process is like for him.
“I really learned so much from the Genesis program that guides me in my design process today. I also find tremendous inspiration from the other builders in my organization. These are people who are really pushing the envelope today in pool engineering.”Scott Walk – Owner of Scott Walk’s PremIer Pools & Spas
Scott Walk on Pool Design
“I always start my designs in Structure Studios first. We will create a walk through of the entire pool area in 3D for the homeowner. This helps them visualize the design concept, features and amenities.” said Walk. “I find that this adds value to the process. It truly immerses the client into giving us the feedback necessary to design them their dream backyard,” continued Walk.
Walk’s experience in building luxury inground pools has led to a long list of satisfied customers. It has also helped make his firm one of the top rated builders in the state. He attributes much of his success to his organization. “We are firm believers in the Premier formula.” said Walk. “That has really been what has helped us become so successful.”
California Pools Opens Philadelphia Location
Mar. 29, 2021 / PRZen / PHILADELPHIA — California Pools, America’s most recognized builder of swimming pools and everything outdoors, announces the addition of its 32nd independently-owned and operated U.S. location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. California Pools has received more awards for its custom pool designs from the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals than any other pool builder in the world and is consistently named among the Top 5 Pool Builders for its customer service.
California Pools has built more than 70,000 pools since its inception in 1952, setting the foundation for the new Philadelphia location that will leverage that experience to serve surrounding Philadelphia areas, including Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. The company offers a full range of creative design and build services for new custom residential swimming pools and spas, residential swimming pool and spa remodeling, and custom outdoor living.
“California Pools is unique in that we have been designing and building custom pools and backyards for nearly 50 years,” says Steve Terry, President at California Pools Franchise, Inc. “We are excited to have a new franchise location to partner with homeowners in the Philadelphia area to transform their outdoor spaces into dream backyards they can enjoy year-round.”
California Pools is known for working closely with each client to develop innovative ideas that fit their lifestyles and budgets and keeping them informed every step of the way. Using its extensive experience to hone best practices, the company is able to finish 98 percent of its projects on time and within budget, a rare industry achievement. California Pools provides virtual and/or in-home consultations, 3D designs, detailed pricing, vast project material choices, and a proven process.
“We treat every client like family and want them to have the most positive experience possible from start to finish,” says Andrew McFarlane, owner and operator of California Pools Philadelphia. “One of the most fun parts of my job is showing clients all of the options they have to take their outdoor space from typical to extraordinary while keeping it easy to maintain. From water and fire features to innovative lighting and automation, our team is ready to bring California Pools to the Philadelphia area.”
McFarlane will lead the California Pools Philadelphia team, bringing with him construction and design experience dating back to his teenage years. He believes that helping design and build backyard dreams and family memories is a privilege. Mcfarlane has experience in virtually all facets of construction.
About California Pools
California Pools is a national pool building company with dozens of local offices throughout the country that are led by a team of professionals with decades of experience. The company was founded in 1952 and has since built more than 70,000 pools, earning multiple national awards for design and customer service. Beyond custom pools and spas, California Pools designs and builds outdoor kitchens and bars, fire pits and fireplaces, fountains, outdoor sitting and dining areas, and other outdoor entertaining areas equipped with audio-visual technology, automation and innovative lighting.
Custom Luxury Pools With Rising Star Lance Irby
Step Into Swim Helps Over 6,000 Kids Learn To Swim
Pool Magazine adds Carol Anne Gigliotti as Director of Marketing / Sales
Shortages Delaying Pool Construction
Pool Supply Shortages Are Real
Chlorine Tablet Shortage Due to Covid-19 & BioLab Fire
Recent Pool News
- Can Your Pool Service Business Meet Pandemic-Driven Demand?The global pandemic negatively affected different […]
- True or Falase? Do Magic Erasers Stop Algae From Forming In Your Pool?Do Magic Erasers really work on algae? We take a closer look at the viral fad taking over skimmer baskets. […]
- Pool and Backyard: Where did the Great American Backyard go?Since the 1970s, land prices have been increasing at a […]
- Vinyl Liners and Designs in 2021Currently, vinyl liner pools are increasingly becoming […]
- Olympus Pools Responds To AllegationsOlympus Pools says that a shortage of materials has led to a series of unexpected delays. […]
- How to Overcome Interference in Pool Water TestsWhen chlorine and bromine are in excessive amounts in […]
- Pool and Spa Corrosion – An Atomic Point Of ViewToday, corrosion is one of the most common problems […]
- Painting Pools and Decks – Rejuvenate Your Backyard SpaceDue to the COVID-19 pandemic, most pool owners are now […]
- Add Functionality to your Pool Area with PaversIt’s with no doubt that the addition of a paver patio, […]
- Pool and Pups: Guiding New Dog OwnersAs a pool contractor, you will come across customers […]
Press Releases4 weeks ago
Top-rated Pinellas pool company partners with Olympus Pools
Videos2 weeks ago
Distracted Driver Crashes Into Swimming Pool
Pool News3 weeks ago
Talking Luxury Pools With Design Ecology
Pool News4 weeks ago
Founders Continue to Refine & Support Genesis Program
Pool News2 weeks ago
Plus Pool Designer Discusses Floating Pool for East River
Pool News3 days ago
Custom Luxury Pools With Rising Star Lance Irby
Pool News6 days ago
Pool Magazine adds Carol Anne Gigliotti as Director of Marketing / Sales
Videos1 week ago
This Time Lapse Vinyl Liner Replacement is so Satisfying