Jason Evans and Jeff Brown know a thing or two about taking on large projects like the Hard Rock pool. Industry veteran Evans has been indoctrinating his stepson Brown into the business over the past decade. Working side by side with his stepfather, the two have tackled their fair share of challenging jobs. For the south Florida firm renovating pools is a family affair. Their company, Pool Boy Plastering, has made a reputation for taking on some very visible and high-profile custom pool projects.
The Hard Rock Pool in Hollywood, FL
Recently Evans began posting photos of the Hard Rock Seminole pool they worked on in Hollywood, FL. The incredibly iconic guitar-shaped resort features a lush “Bora Bora” lagoon-style swimming pool which is just as stunning. A beach entry resort-style pool with actual sand, as well as a huge 4.5-acre lagoon for hotel guests that allows for paddleboarding, kayaking, and pedal boating, are just some of the world-class amenities you’ll find.
The high-volume firm has taken on large jobs, having completed over 12,000 projects during its tenure in the business. Catering to pool builders and architects, Pool Boy Plastering performs over 600 pool plastering jobs a year.
It’s safe to say that Evans and Brown collectively plastered roughly 7.2 million square feet or 110 football fields worth of pools. That’s a lot of plaster and a ton of experience in the field. It’s no wonder they were awarded the bid to do the interior of the Hard Rock swimming pool. Still, the two weren’t shy about confessing that this was the largest project they’d ever undertaken.
A Challenging Pool Interior
In describing what working on this pool was like, Evans was straight to the point. “It was a doozy, there were some really rough work conditions and it was probably one of the toughest jobs we’ve ever had to do,” he said.
“Not only did we have time constraints but it was during a really rainy season. Because it’s a Seminole reservation, OSHA is not allowed on the property, but they had their own safety team that was stricter than what a typical OSHA job site would be,” explained Evans, describing the working conditions.
“They would have lightning monitors, alarms would go off and we’d be suddenly forced to shut everything down and shelter. That’s tough, we’re out there mixing cement, pumping the Pebbletec. It was tough to just turn off the machine when it was full of cement and go hang out for an hour or two until we’re allowed to get back to work,” said Brown.
“We’d have almost daily meetings with the contractors, Brightview Developers did the entire outside of the hotel and were the ones we were collaborating with. The construction was 24/7 but our crew only worked during the day. In a fast-paced production schedule, it was a tough job site to work on. One day there would be parking, the next day there would be sidewalks where there were none yesterday,” said Evans.
Hitting a Moving Target
A project of this scale with a moving target and constantly shifting priorities was definitely a new experience for the firm. “It was always throwing us a loop. We’d be there doing a section thinking we’d be able to finish it and the concrete foreman would come up and inform us that the next day we’d have to break everything down and move out of the way and set up on the other side of the hotel to work. This was a rush build with overlapping deadlines. I must say though for a job of this scale it went fairly smoothly,” stated Evans.
“Having to run a slick line to shoot 800 square feet through other workers was definitely a challenge. We worked well on top of other contractors until it came time to use chemicals and then we’d have to cordon off certain areas of the job site. That made us popular,” said Brown, “they weren’t too happy to have to clear out when we had to do an acid wash.”
When asked if they’d take on this job again, the pair chuckled and said that is one they’d have to seriously consider. Despite the difficulties working on this project, the Pebbletec interior in this swimming pool came out gorgeous. A tremendous undertaking, this project is a testament to their abilities and was obviously a true labor of love.
Certainly not the only high-profile resort pool Evans and Brown have worked on, the two have traveled as far as Dubai to work on the Atlantis resort pool. They’re also probably one of the only pool plasterers that can count Sylvester Stallone as one of their clients. With that said, this rockin’ pool still remains one for the highlight reel.
Photo Credit: Jimi Smith Photography
National Water Safety Month Is Celebrated The Entire Month of May
The month of May is a time to celebrate National Water Safety Month. The entire month of May has been officially dedicated as a time to bring awareness and education about water safety to the general community. The initiative is coordinated by the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance in support with the American Red Cross, National Recreation and Park Association, and the World Waterpark Association.
Benefits of Water Safety
May is the perfect time to observe safer water practices. When school is out for the summer and the weather heats up across the country, poolside recreation is in. This summer, pools, hot tubs, and spas will have a tremendously positive impact on all of our lives.
There are 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools, and an additional 7.3 million hot tubs operating in the U.S. Over the summer 8 out of 10 Americans are planning to swim in a pool. For children and teens between the ages of 7 and 17, swimming remains the #1 most popular recreational activity.
National Water Safety Month is helping by promoting better water safety practices as well as increasing water competency including what to do in an emergency. Drowning prevention lies at the core of the initiative.
Some of the core principles to educate the public about the importance of supervising children in or near water, fencing pools and spas with adequate barriers, learning water safety survival skills, using approved life jackets while boating, and swimming in a lifeguarded area.
How National Water Safety Month Got Started
National Water Safety Month’s history of highlighting water awareness and swim safety started in June 2003, when the World Waterpark Association launched its National Water Safety Week. People celebrated this water awareness week for four years.
The origins of National Water Safety Month began in May 2007. The National Recreation and Park Association in coordination with the World Waterpark Association decided that a month-long water safety initiative in May would better serve the community. May is the month when swim activity begins to increase across the nation. It was at this point that National Aquatics Week evolved into National Water Safety Month.
The APSP (now the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance) joined the initiative in May 2009. Their involvement would add public pools, residential pools, and waterparks as part of the month long water safety campaign. The American Red Cross would join the National Water Safety Month coalition as a key partner the following year in May 2010.
Learn More About The Key Partners Behind National Water Safety Month
The water safety initiative reaches the community at large through a series of educational programs and public service announcements. In addition, there is involvement at the government level, as well as with dealers and businesses across the nation to provide access to a wide variety of swim safety materials.
Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance advances the expansion of water safety initiatives through research and outreach-related activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming. The PHTA’s 3,600 members are helping advance this initiative by making swimming environments safer and keeping pools open to serve communities.
National Recreation & Park Association
The National Recreation & Park Association is a non-profit dedicated to building stronger communities through the power of parks and recreation. Today, the NRPA’s 60,000 members propel this objective by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates
World Waterpark Association
The World Waterpark Association is the world’s premier water-leisure trade association. The WWA serves over 1,000 members in 50 different countries around the globe.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.
The initiative is sponsored by Pentair. “Pentair is honored to continue to support National Water Safety Month again this year,” says De’Mon Wiggins, President – Pool Business Unit at Pentair. “At Pentair, we know moments by the pool can only be magical, wonder-filled, and fun when experienced safely. That’s why we are committed as an organization to promoting water safety awareness not only during National Water Safety Month but always.”
How You Can Get Involved
For those that want to get involved, there are a number of ways for the general public and pool industry professionals to engage with their own community. Resources for consumers and professionals are available on the National Water Safety Month website.
Pool industry professionals perform a variety of outreach services that engage their local communities to learn more about water safety. Some examples are Joe Vassallo and his firm Paragon Pools which started their Float Like a Duck program in Las Vegas and Stephen Little, CEO of Claro Pools with his 55/5 campaign in Palm Desert. Those interested in getting involved have lots of options. Some advocates are planning a media event while others are doing a virtual event online. There are even those who are organizing a water safety fair to help get the word out.
Still one of the best ways to make a difference is by making a donation to the Red Cross and sponsoring National Water Safety Month as well as other drowning prevention initiatives that help promote awareness.
Featured Photo Credit: PHTA
Top 10 Largest Swimming Pools in the World
When discussing the largest swimming pools on the planet, we’re certainly not talking about your average-sized watering hole. While there have been large man-made pools practically since civilization began, these swimming pools in particular defy the imagination in terms of their sheer scale.
You may have visited a few resorts in your time with large luxurious over-the-top pools, but trust me when we say that those pools are practically teacup-sized in comparison to these swimming pools. We’ve covered plenty of swimming pool Top 10’s in Pool Magazine, including the world’s most expensive pools. Today, however, we’re going to be looking at some of the largest pools on Earth. With that said, let’s dive right in!
The Top 10 Largest Pools In The World
|#1||City Stars Sharm El Sheikh||Egypt||Sharm El Sheikh||23.9 acres||2015||Sea water|
|#2||San Alfonso Del Mar||Chile||Valparaíso||20 acres||2006||Sea water|
|#3||Mahasamutr||Thailand||Hua Hin||17 acres||2014||Sea water|
|#4||Ostrava Poruba – Vřesina||Czech Republic||Ostrava||10 acres||1962||Fresh water|
|#5||Diamante at Cabo San Lucas||Mexico||Cabo San Lucas||10 acres||2009||Salt water|
|#6||The Lagoon at Epperson||United States||Wesley Chapel, FL||7.5 acres||2017||Sea water|
|#7||Piscina Las Brisas de Santo Domingo||Chile||Santo Domingo||5 acres||2004||Sea water|
|#8||The Lagoon at Windsong Ranch||United States||Prosper, TX||4.9 acres||2019||Sea water|
|#9||Hayman Island Resort Pool||Australia||Queensland||2.2 acres||1950||Sea water|
|#10||Dreamworld Fun Lagoon||Pakistan||Karachi||2 acres||2008||Well water|
Statistics are all well and good, but we’re dying to know more about these massive swimming pools and we’re sure you are too. Let’s take a closer look at each one of the swimming pools on our Top 10 Largest Swimming Pools list.
#10 – Dreamworld Fun Lagoon
The world’s largest well water swimming pool is located on the outskirts of Pakistan’s largest metropolis, Karachi. The Dreamworld Resort’s pool, which is filled with 2 million gallons of water pumped from neighboring wells, also has waterslides and an artificial sea with waves up to 4 feet high. This is a massive pool where scores of families gather together to have a good time.
Address: Gulshan-e-Maymar, Super Highway
Adjacent، Block R Taiser Town, Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh, Pakistan
Phone: +92 21 38692000
#9 – Hayman Island Resort Pool
The pool at Hayman Island Resort has the size of seven Olympic-sized pools and has a surface area of nearly 78,000 square feet. The man-made lagoon was built in 1985 as part of the exclusive Hayman Island resort in the Whitsundays, on the Great Barrier Reef’s Whitsunday Islands. The pool, which is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, has a freshwater section surrounded by a bigger saltwater segment, as well as a sand bar in the center for relaxing. The largest of the four linked boardwalks, extending 165 feet, spans the water’s surface.
Address: Hayman Island Whitsunday Islands Hayman Island, QLD 4801, Australia
Phone: +61 7 4940 1234
#8 – The Lagoon at Windsong Ranch
One of the largest pools on earth is actually in the United States. The Lagoon, a massive 4.9-acre seawater pool, is currently the centerpiece of Windsong Ranch. Guests of the ranch can unwind on the white sand beaches or participate in a variety of activities such as paddleboarding and kayaking in the crystal clear Caribbeanesque waters. The largest pool in the United States, this one must be seen to be believed!
Address: 1001 Windsong Pkwy, Prosper, TX 75078
Phone: (972) 347-9270
#7 – Piscina Las Brisas de Santo Domingo
Piscina Las Brisas is a five-acre saltwater pool is part of the Las Brisas upscale condominium development in Chile. To give you a sense of scale, it’s roughly the size of 16 Olympic-sized swimming pools. This architectural achievement is one of the largest swimming pools on the planet. Two of the nicest aspects are that it has a view of the Pacific Ocean and its crystal clear water.
Address: Santo Domingo, Valparaíso, Chile
Phone: +56 2 2206 9188
#6 – The Lagoon at Epperson
What was once a cow pasture just north of Tampa is now home to the largest swimming pool in the country. Swimming, paddle boarding, and kayaking are all possible on the man-made, sustainable body of water. It also has a swim-up bar, cabanas, a floating obstacle course, and other amenities. The lagoon spans 7.5 acres and has a perimeter of 4,200 linear square feet, with an average depth of 8 feet and some spots as deep as 12 feet.
Address: 31885 Overpass Rd, Wesley Chapel, FL 33545
Phone: (813) 444-5221
#5 – Diamante in Cabo San Lucas
With views of Diamante’s signature sand dunes and the majestic Pacific Ocean, you’ll be in paradise. Sail, swim, stand-up paddleboard, and kayak, or simply relax in your own private cabana nearby. There are wide beach areas, a swim-up bar and jacuzzi, and other family-friendly amenities surrounding the lagoon, so grab your goggles and sunscreen and get ready for some serious fun. Tied with our #4 pick, the 10-acre saltwater Crystal Lagoons® at Diamante offers leisure and family-friendly activities at the heart of their resort.
Address: Diamante Blvd., 23473 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico
Phone: +52 624 144 2900
#4 – Ostrava Poruba – Vřesina
The Ostrava Poruba, a seasonal community pool that first opened in 1962 is the largest open-air swimming pool in the Czech Republic at 10 acres. The massive fresh water pool is designed to look like a lake. Tied with our #5 pick in terms of size, the municipal corporation Sareza (Sports and Recreational Facilities of the City of Ostrava) operates swimming pools of various sizes (indoor and outdoor) in Poruba, Ostrava-Jih, Moravská Ostrava a Pvoz, and Bartovice.
Address: Rekreační 236/74, 708 00 Ostrava-Poruba, Czechia
Phone: +420 596 977 611
#3 – Mahasamutr
The MahaSamutr pool is home to Asia’s largest man-made lagoon. It has a surface area of 72,000 square miles and a maximum depth of 2.4 meters. The lagoon, surrounded by an artificial sand beach, is the focal point of the MahaSamutr development project, an upscale country club and residential complex in Hua Hin.
Also by Crystal Lagoons, this massive pool is the first major project in Thailand and sits proudly on our top 10 list as the #3 largest pool in the world.
Address: 70/152-153 Soi 112 Huana Tuptai Road
Prachuapkhirikhan, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand
Phone: +66 32 907 900
#2 – San Alfonso Del Mar
San Alfonso Del Mar Resort in Chile is currently the second largest swimming pool in the world and sits on a private resort in Algarrobo, Chile, located roughly 60 miles west of Santiago. With a length of over nine football fields, this enormous saltwater pool is filled with over 66 million gallons of water. At the time of its completion in 2006, San Alfonso Del Mar Resort captured the record for the world’s largest pool and held it for almost a decade. A builder of some of the largest pools on the planet, we can thank Crystal Lagoons for this one as well.
Featuring swimming, sailing, kayaking, and a host of world-class amenities, San Alfonso Del Mar Resort is a must-see travel destination for pool lovers and an incredible achievement in aquatic engineering.
#1- City Stars Sharm El Sheikh
The City Stars Sharm El Sheikh lagoon, which opened in 2015, is officially the world’s largest man-made body of water. Aside from its enormous size, this massive pool located in the Sinai desert is a sight to behold. The saltwater supply is drawn from aquifers and takes several weeks to replenish. The $5.5 billion project is also the most expensive pool in the world.
Address: 29HV+8HH, Qesm Sharm Ash Sheikh, South Sinai Governorate, Egypt
At 23.9 acres City Stars Sharm El Sheikh by Crystal Lagoons; is officially the largest swimming pool project in the world.
You may have asked the question “what is the largest swimming pool in the world” and gotten 100 different answers. Unfortunately, there is a lot of conflicting information out there and statistics have a tendency to be copied & pasted without much fact-checking these days. Stats also have a way of changing quicker than human beings tend to update their websites.
In fact, the Guinness Book of World Records even still lists the 8.9-acre Orthlieb Pool in Casablanca, Morocco as the largest pool on the planet. Unfortunately, that pool was demolished back in 1986 and hasn’t been around for quite some time. There are also plenty of places that still list the San Alfonso Del Mar as the world’s largest swimming pool, but it was supplanted back in 2015 by the #1 pool on our list. City Stars Sharm El Sheikh is officially the largest swimming pool on the planet – for now.
Pool Prices Are Going Up… Again
If you’ve been holding out and waiting for pool prices to drop, you may have to continue waiting. Analysts are predicting pool prices to increase this year due to rising costs for labor, materials, and equipment. The Federal Reserve approved the first rate increase in three years back in March in an effort to combat inflation, and a 50 basis point hike may be looming on the horizon.
Consumers who plan on buying a swimming pool this year can expect to pay a premium according to analysts. Builders across the nation are feeling the pinch of rising costs. Across the board; increased costs for labor and equipment are driving a need to recalibrate pricing structures yet again this season. Construction materials used to build swimming pools rose 31.3% percent from early 2020 to early 2022.
Construction Material Price Increases
As pool builders and swimming pool contractors attempt to maneuver a vastly different landscape of pricing, year over year increases can immediately be seen on the following materials:
- Concrete – Up 11.6% since the start of 2021
- Lumber – Up 79.5% in cost from September 2021 to April 2022.
- Steel – Up 74.4% in price since start of 2021
- PVC Pipe – Up 36.9% since start of 2021
(Statistics provided by the Associated General Contractors of America)
Manufacturers & Distributors Raising Prices
A round of price increase letters began circulating early this spring from some of the nation’s largest manufacturers and distributors. Consequently, builders are looking at big jumps in cost for pool pumps, filters, heaters, and a variety of other related equipment and components. Builders aren’t the only ones struggling, however. Pool service companies are also looking at sharp price increases from last year on chlorine as well as other chemicals.
To get a better understanding of how rising costs are impacting pool companies day to day operations, we asked several pool builders how they are navigating an environment of continuous price increases and what they are telling customers.
Consumers Have The Wrong Information About Pool Prices
“Honestly, there is a disconnect with consumers over how much pools really cost these days,” said Southern California pool designer James White of Dream To Design. “Homeowners are reading outdated or just completely inaccurate information when price shopping for a swimming pool.”
How Much Have Pool Prices Increased?
The majority of pool builders we surveyed in a recent poll say they have had to increase prices by 40-50% in order to keep up with inflation. “Unfortunately the base price of a swimming pool has gone up over the last two years,” said pool builder, JC Rodriguez who builds concrete in-ground pools, “for a basic pool without all the bells and whistles, we’re starting at around the $60,000 range and go up from there. Most of the time if we’re talking about a pool and spa with decking your average swimming pool is going to wind up at the $120,000-$130,000 price range.”
The prices that Rodriguez is estimating are consistent with what pool builders across the nation are charging for a complete in-ground swimming pool package. Pool Magazine surveyed a sample of 1,000 pool builders to see how their prices had increased since 2020.
Out of 1,000 pool professionals surveyed on April 1, 2022, 72.7% said they raised prices by over 30% since the pandemic began. 28.2% of builders surveyed reported they increased prices by over 50% since the start of 2020. Out of 1,000 builders surveyed, only 49 respondents indicated that they had raised prices less than 10% or not at all. While not indicative of price increases for the entire industry, this survey of builders provides a good cross sampling of increases across the country based off individual responses.
Homeowners Face Sharp Price Increases on Building a Swimming Pool in 2022
“We decided to build a pool at the absolute wrong time. I just paid $65,000 for our pool and it’s nothing extravagant,” said homeowner Mike Sovenski. “Not only was the same pool $40,000 before Covid, but our pool took 8 months to build. If I knew then what I know now, we would have waited but hindsight is 20/20.”
While some are struggling to rationalize the jump in prices, many homeowners have their minds fixed on building a pool this year and are ready to absorb the increases. “For us, it makes a lot of sense to build a swimming pool, this is a spec home and we will see our return on the back-end when we sell the house,” said Stepan Federov of Carmichael, CA.
Others have been waiting for so long just to get onto their builder’s dig schedule, that they are happy just to be able to say they are finally building a pool. “We wanted a pool and have just been playing the waiting game,” said Justin Brennan of Staten Island, NY, “It was our bad luck that we were unable to build exactly when we wanted to. Our builder was backlogged but we decided to wait,” explained Brennan, “we just broke ground last week and our pool will cost around 30% more than we were originally quoted. Quite frankly, I’m just happy that it’s finally underway.”
A Change In The Wind
While many homeowners are still waiting for the opportunity to build a pool, still more may decide to put off building a pool altogether right now. Indicators from some of the largest publicly held companies in the pool industry demonstrate that the pandemic craze for pools may be ending. Year-to-date, stock movements paint a less than rosy forecast for the rest of 2022. As of the time of this article – PoolCorp is down -24.31%, Fluidra is down -20.09%, and Latham’s stock is sharply down -50.06% since the start of the year. Watching how some of the top performers are struggling is a fair indication of what is going on in the rest of the industry.
In light of numerous global events, some of the largest pool builders are waiting to see exactly how the market will react before making any radical changes. “The geopolitical climate may certainly impact how our industry performs and how we’re able to enjoy the surge in demand, post-pandemic,” said Bonnie Chong, CEO of Anthony & Sylvan Pools who is actively monitoring developments in the industry. (Listen to our entire conversation on the Pool Magazine podcast).
“Not every market may experience the same factors that drive demand at the same time,” said Chong, who says that she plans to leverage Anthony & Sylvan’s footprint in a changing environment. Her outlook, however, remains optimistic that the demand will remain strong with consumers well into 2023. “Hopefully now folks have really started to find value in the home and value in spending time with family and friends in the backyard.”
The spike in demand we saw over the last two years does add some credence to that assumption. The pandemic probably did more to reinforce the value of a pool in the minds of consumers than possibly anything else in recent decades. One thing is clear, how consumers react to buying a pool in this rapidly changing environment is something the entire industry is watching closely this season.
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