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Talking Luxury Pools With Design Ecology

Chatting with one of the leading luxury pool builders

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Luxury Pools - Design Ecology - Design Aquatics

Today we’re discussing luxury pools with Scott Cummings and Benjamin Lasseter of Design Ecology in Austin, TX. This dynamic duo known throughout the pool industry has produced some incredible jaw dropping backyards over the years. We had the chance to catch up with them and got to talk shop, discussing luxury pools and the business aspect of being an elite design / build firm.

Cummings and Lasseter hit it off right away as it turns out. The partners both met back in 2006. Cummings had just relocated from Memphis and began working in Austin for the same company where Lasseter was a construction supervisor.

After collaborating on some incredibly creative and unique projects, they noticed early on how well they worked together. Lasseter developed a tremendous respect for Cummings’ design abilties. Conversely, Cummings realized that Lasseter was a seasoned and knowledgeable Construction Supervisor capable of executing sophisticated design concepts.

One of the early projects that they worked on together would include a French style estate pool and a modern lap pool hanging over Lake Austin with acryllic walls. In 2008 when the great recession hit, Cummings found himself laid off and back on the market. Lasseter remained with the company a short time before moving on as well. Lasseter would shortly work as a project manager for a landscape firm before eventually moving on to start his own landscape construction company.

Cummings and Lasseter collaborated on projects like this 79' long lap pool cantilevered directly over Lake Austin.
Cummings and Lasseter collaborated on projects like this 79′ long lap pool cantilevered directly over Lake Austin.

Cummings had begun working for a firm that specialized entirely in pools. The firm he was working for had been contracted to build two swimming pools for a luxury hotel being built in downtown Austin.Cummings convinced his boss to bring in Lasseter as a Construction Supervisor on a challenging project for W Austin.

The pools were being built 80 feet above street level and both would be incredibly technically challenging. Cummings knew the enormous workload of successfully completing both and sought out his old friend Lasseter to assist with the two projects.

Cummings convinced his boss that Lasseter had the expertise and project management skills to flawlessly execute both projects. Ultimately, this successful collaboration with Cummings and Lasseter would plant the seeds for starting their own firm together.

A New Company is Born

It was shortly after the W Austin project that Cummings and Lasseter decided to start their own Design / Build firm – Design Ecology / Design Aquatics. The venture between the two business partners officially began in 2011.

Design Ecology functions as the landscaping architecture / master planning division. Design Aquatics is the other half of the company focusing on pool construction and design. Scott Cummings is the designer / landscape architect helping bring the clients vision to life. Ben Lasseter handles the day-to-day business operations and oversees construction.

Design Ecology has become one of the leading design firms in Austin with over the top pool concepts like this one.
Design Ecology has become one of the leading design firms in Austin with over the top pool concepts like this one. – Photograph by Jimi Smith Photography

The creative energy between the two of them has led Design Ecology to become one of the leading outdoor living design and build firms in Austin, TX. When trying to define the seamless and friendly working dynamic between the two, one only has to look at the synergy on the court between Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, for comparison. These two manage to consistently wow and amaze both their clientele and the discerning eye of critics in the pool industry.

Designing Luxury Pools & Understanding the Clients Vision

Cummings, a licensed landscape architect oversees all of the design for the firm. We asked him what it is like working on luxury pools and backyards with some of the most affluent homeowners in Austin.

“It’s very easy to walk onto a job site and design something that is going to be great for me and make something that I think is perfect and going to look great.” said Cummings, “The challenge with design, especially with high end clients is they have a specific vision. You have to understand that vision and bring that to life.” continued Cummings.

“I always feel it’s important to get to know them as people and get to know their taste and their family and lifestyle.” said Cummings, who frequently shepherds the firms high end clients throughout the entire design process.

Coming up with the budget for Design Ecology’s multi-million dollar projects, is Ben Lasseter’s domain. He explained how the entire budgeting process on high end luxury builds is vastly different than your typical residential pool build.

Get Used To Throwing Out Large Numbers

“With a lot of clients, their budget is irrational to a normal person. They see something and the average person is like ‘Oh, that’s $100,000 for that statue’… the clients aren’t making buying decisions based off budget, but what they want,” said Lasseter. “they want what they saw in the picture. Obviously budget is still a concern, but they want the design and implementation of what they want executed. You have to get used to throwing out really large numbers.” continued Lasseter.

Design Ecology builds million dollar backyards. Incredible luxury pools like this one are a staple the firm is known for.
Design Ecology builds million dollar backyards. Incredible luxury pools like this one are a staple the firm is known for.

The average luxury high end build Design Ecology performs for elite homeowners can range into the millions. “We’ve worked on projects where just the tile alone in the pool costs more than a half a million dollars and that doesn’t include the pool structure.” said Lasseter.

Lasseter’s role is no less important as he focuses on budgeting, buildability studies, and the actual construction process of bringing the homeowners vision and the firms designs to life. This ying and yang of one partner focusing on sales and design and the other focusing on the business end and construction works well for the two. Their business dynamic has created the foundation for a long lasting partnership. Lasseter’s ability to implement Cummings’ incredible designs is the perfect compliment to the firms cutting edge modern design capabilities.

The flawless execution of a sophisticated modern luxury pool design requires planning and coordination.
The flawless execution of a sophisticated modern luxury pool design requires planning and coordination.

Planning & Preparing for a Custom Luxury Pool

“The modern design appears simple. There’s a bunch of straight and perpendicular lines and it appears simple but it’s actually quite complex.” said Lasseter, “It requires a lot of coordination between contractors and subcontractors.”

Lasseter works closely with builders, engineers and construction crews on all of the firms projects. This is no small task considering the size and scope of projects Design Ecology undertakes. Lasseter explained that during one particular project he was coordinating with the builders and homeowners 4 years prior to an actual pool being built on the site.

The nature of the project required a seamless transition of tile from the interior of the home into the pool area so Lasseter began coordinating with the general contractor years before ever beginning the project. It is this type of high end planning and design work that has helped differentiate Design Ecology from many other local firms in Austin, TX.

The amount of preparation and planning that goes into building the luxury pools Design Ecology is known for is considerable. “We do a lot of work on hill sides and cliff sides. You don’t just go and dig a hole back there. You’re working with soils engineers and structural engineers.” said Lasseter.

“It’s not like your typical pool where you have your excavator come in one day and then your forms and your rebar and your plumbing going in, we may have have six months of structurals going in before we can even get to a water holding vessel.” continued Lasseter. “If you forget one pipe, you can’t just fix it because you’re dangling off the side of a cliff or your access is no longer there because you took the scaffolding down.”

Certain luxury outdoor living projects require an inordinate amount of planning and coordination with high end contractors.
Certain luxury outdoor living projects require an inordinate amount of planning and coordination with high end contractors.

The Demand Has Never Been Higher for Custom Luxury Pools

The enormous complexity and forethought that goes into these projects can take years. The average lead time for luxury pool projects can vary dramatically depending on many factors explained Cummings. “The amount of design time can vary wildly. We’ve had some projects go from design to construction document prep in a matter of days while others can take years to plan.” said Cummings. “Right now demand is so high that we just can’t keep up so our backlog is unfortunately longer than we’d like but there’s worse problems to have than that I suppose.”

Cummings said that the Covid-19 pandemic produced an unexpected surge in demand for high end custom luxury pools.

“Covid has been an interesting phenomenon for us. There was so much uncertainty at the beginning of 2020.” said Cummings, “The city of Austin shut everybody down. They actually tried to shut us down while we were working on a high dollar project in a high end residential home. We gently reminded them that if we left the area an open construction zone for the duration of the shutdown that they’d be liable for any damages.” continued Cummings.

“After that, they insisted we continue with what we were doing. Around the time that had happened, Governor Abbot had come out and declared us to be an essential service, so we were able to continue working through most of the shutdowns.” said Cummings.

During the pandemic, more homeowners than ever have begun investing in improving their outdoor living environment.
During the pandemic, more homeowners than ever have begun investing in improving their outdoor living environment.

The pandemic has seen an increase in demand over the last year and a half. Cummings echoed the sentiments of many other builders when he said “We’ve seen a huge boom in the number of people who are looking to build their own oasis and essentially create a refuge at home.”

We asked if customers have struggled coming to grips with longer than average build times considering that virtually every homeowner in America wants a pool right now. “Yes and no,” said Cummings, “there are definitely people who call in and they just don’t understand. Right now we are sold out into well into the fall but we can have them swimming by 2022. They’re like ‘Well we’re not going to wait, we’re just going to go ahead and go with somebody else’ and that’s fine, they’re not the right client for us and we’re not the right designer / contractor for them.”

Educating Homeowners on the Realities

For the most part however, Cummings said that homeowners are becoming increasingly aware of the shortages effecting the pool industry and have been sympathetic and understanding that construction time can be much longer than average. Lasseter explained some of the struggles that Texas pool contractors in particular have faced this year.

“Not only did we have the Covid-19 challenge,” said Lasseter, “we experienced a catastrophic freeze in Texas that set everybody back. It took precedent over new construction. That, combined with the city offices being shut down for two weeks, we really had significant delays.” Lasseter explained that other underlying issues like supply chain delays such as the recent blockage of the Suez canal were contributing to longer than average waiting times.

Part of being an elite builder means being up front and honest with your clients explained Lasseter, “We’re up front with our clients and we don’t keep any secrets. We let them know there are shortages and delays and we’re going to do our best to keep everything running as smoothly as possible.”

Even elite luxury pool builders like Design Ecology have had to manage client expectations during this climate.

Lasseter said that it’s important to manage expectations with homeowners from the outset. This is true in both luxury high end builds as well as typical residential pool construction. “Even though it may not be our original construction timeline, we try to contain those expectations with the homeowner so that we’re not constantly moving the ball and always giving them another story. We manage expectations from the construction end and everybody seems to be in a really good place.” said Lasseter.

We reminded Lasseter that his story is unique in the respect that many other builders are getting absolutely hammered with negative reviews. Ongoing shortages of equipment, essential materials and skilled labor have contributed to tremendous fallout in the media as homeowners continually complain of pools going unfinished in some cases for many months past their original deadlines. Lasseter sympathized when he said “We would love to be able to hire more people right now but it’s hard finding skilled labor. It’s incredibly busy and it’s a real challenge.”

Doing Great Work Means Hiring The Best

Design Ecology who is a member of Tributary Revelation frequently consults with the best of the best in the industry on their projects. The high end custom nature of their work entails bringing in contractors from other states such as one project with a particularly challenging pool interior. “We brought in Danilo from Art & Mosaics who is a phenomenal Italian Mosaic Artist and he has just done a spectacular job of transforming this pool into an absolute work of art. I’m really excited to show that one off real soon.”

As a registered landscape architect, Cummings is an expert at unique and creative pool and landscape designs like this one.

Want to be a Luxury Pool Builder? Education is Key.

Cummings who is a RLA (Registered Landscape Architect) graduate of Mississippi State University’s Landscape Architecture program, got his education in pools working for several firms. Cummings says that he and Lasseters involvement in Tributary Revelation and Watershape University has been particularly stimulating for him in terms of helping him develop his pool accumen. Lasseter who has a BS in Horticulture from Texas A&M, has also completed the Genesis 3 program to become SWD Registered.

Lasseter said that Genesis 3 was instrumental in helping him develop his higher education pursuits. He first became aware of the program when he stumbled on an ad for the program in a trade publication. Upon attending the Genesis School in Scottsdale, AZ Lasseter said that he was exposed to real experts for the first time.

Lasseter credits his interaction with people like Brian Van Bower, Skip Phillips and Dave Penton with cementing the notion that he could have a real future in the pool industry. “That one 3 day class was eye opening to me. There was so much I learned that I didn’t know. I didn’t realize how high the ceiling really was. I thought I was doing real high end work at the time, in reality there were guys there that were just mountains and miles and ahead of me.” said Lasseter.

“It was encouraging, inspirational and enlighting.” explained Lasster, “I spent 3 days with Dave Peterson learning how water moves and I came back with this new enthusiam for pools and water and how it works and what I’m doing wrong and how I could make it better.”

SWD Registered - Genesis & Watershape University Instructor - Lasseter has developed a reputation as a top builder.
SWD Registered – Genesis & Watershape University Instructor – Lasseter has developed a reputation as a top builder.

Eventually Lasseter become SWD Registered and is now a faculty member for Genesis teaching classes on how to master plan and how to tie in design & construction. Lasseter also teaches for Watershape University where he offers an Advanced Applied Theory course on Construction Defect Removal and Replacement.

Design Ecology is frequently touted as a favorite among designers and builders, with notable elites of the pool industry citing their work as both inspirational and cutting edge. Cummings whose focus is primarily on landscape design, says that aside from the obvious choices like Paolo Benededtti, Brian Van Bower and Skip Phillips he particularly appreciates the work of Lee Rusell, Kurt Kraisinger, Lawrence Halprin, and E. Fay Jones, among others.

Lasseter who is more focused on the engineering and nuts and bolts of how the pool is built says that Dave Penton has been a tremendous inspiration and mentor to him. “When I look at an equipment room that is located 3 stories below the pool and how all the plumbing is done and how the pipes are labeled and how the space is planned, Dave Penton is at the top of that mountain.” Lasseter said that others like Dave Peterson, Kraisinger, and Brownlee are also some others whose incredibly detailed plans are something he admires a great deal.

Advice for any builder interested in delving into luxury pools - 'know your numbers', says Scott Cummings of Design Ecology.
Advice for any builder interested in delving into luxury pools – ‘know your numbers’, says Scott Cummings of Design Ecology.

Advice for Builders Looking to Get Into Luxury Pools

We asked the partners if they had any advice for aspiring builders looking to delve into the arena of Luxury Pools. “Understand the product you are selling before you sell it. My biggest issue I see with people is that I see dangerous mistakes, code violations. I wish more people would take the time to read the codes and understand the reasons for them.” said Cummings.

“Understand the need for properly sized plumbing,” continued Cummings, “spacial standards, the slopes and breaks of a pool. Lengths and protections for even basic stuff like diving are often misunderstood. If you really want to step into the real high end luxury pools you need to understand what it takes to build them safely.”

The “Business” of Luxury Pools

Cummings also mentioned the need to price things accurately, a fact which Lasseter went into greater detail on when he expressed the importance of focusing on the business side as much as the construction side. He suggested that aspiring luxury pool builders take a lesson from their own companies struggle. Lasseter explained that as more money begins to come in, it’s increasingly important to focus more and more energy managing the business side.

Lasseter expressed the importance of having oversight over financials. “Know your business. We went from watching every check that went through the bank to having millions of dollars moving through our account. We grew so fast, we didn’t know what we were. We couldn’t look at our books and say ‘Oh, we showed a profit last month.’ The forensic accounting that went into getting us on track was… IS… a three year process. Now I can look a report and it’s a click away. It’s not a guess or intuition.”

Luxury pools are time consuming to design and plan. High end homeowners who appreciate good design are willing to pay for it.
Luxury pools are time consuming to design and plan. High end homeowners who appreciate good design are willing to pay for it.

“A quarter of our time now goes on working on the business, not for the business. Constantly improving out systems.” said Lasseter. “It’s easy to get sidetracked by projects and ‘let the business run itself’ but it’s not really running itself.” Scott Cummings said that in addition, pool companies should move away from doing free designs for companies.

Say No To Free Design

There has been a ground swell in the pool industry to do away with doing free design comps as part of selling a pool. A practice that Cummings and Lasseter are definitely not fans of. “Great clients do value good design and they’re going to be willing to compensate you for that service that you’re providing. Absolutely ‘SAY NO’ to free design. That’s just devaluing yourself and the industry.”

Lasseter explained that there are recurring costs associated with running the softwares necessary to render out 3D designs and plans for homeowners. “You’re giving your time away for free and the cost for operating those software. No matter how much you make on the back end of the pool, it’s a losing proposition that drags the industry down.”

Listen to the entire interview with Scott Cummings & Benjamin Lasseter on the Pool Magazine Podcast.

Featured Photo Credit: Jimi Smith Photography

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Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of PoolMarketing.com, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email [email protected] or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to [email protected]

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Pool Builder

One on One With Elite Pool Designer – Danny Wang

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When it comes to the world of pool and outdoor living design, there are few who have come close to the success and recognition that Danny Wang has achieved. Based in Orange County, CA, his firm DW Design & Build has established a reputation as one of the leading design firms. Racking up award after award for his over-the-top luxury pool and backyard designs, Wang’s ability to help homeowners conceptualize their ideal outdoor living environment is unprecedented.

With an uncanny ability to envision complete outdoor living design concepts on-the-fly, Danny Wang is almost a household name in the pool design world. He seems to possess a rare ability that gives him near-instant insight to look at a home and see the potential for a complete redesign in his head before ever putting pen to paper.

Luxury Pool designer and builder Danny Wang - Photo Credit: Jimi Smith Photography
Luxury pool by elite pool designer and builder Danny Wang – Photo Credit: Jimi Smith Photography

“I’m not freestyling it but it’s almost like when I go walking into someone’s backyard an image of a project literally pops up in my head and I see it,” said Wang, “I don’t know how else to describe it. Usually, by the time I’ve walked through the yard and talked to the homeowner, the designs are done within 5 to 15 minutes.”

“It’s probably based on all my experience. You build so many pools, that you kind of know what goes where and what can and can’t go on in the design,” said Wang.

“Lately, when I’m approached for a design the homeowner just lets me do my thing,” said Wang, who admits he’s looking to work with clients who allow him free reign to create them an over-the-top design for their backyard. “That’s kind of how we screen our clients to know if they’re going to be very involved in the process. I mean, that’s okay, but more and more what we like are folks who know they are hiring me to build them an award-winning pool and know that I’ll get it done right,” he explained.

“I don’t think every designer could say that confidently. We’re building a very complex pool, so there are only a few people that can execute at that level. This is why a lot of times we build our own projects,” said Wang.

“Of course, it’s not my house, so what we have to do is still take into account what they want and need. We take those elements from discovery and incorporate those into a design around that,” said Wang.

Modern Luxury Pool & Fire Pit - Danny Wang - Photo Credit: Jimi Smith Photography
Modern Luxury Pool & Fire Pit by elite pool designer Danny Wang – Photo Credit: Jimi Smith Photography

Wang says he draws inspiration from what other folks like Paul McClean are doing in the field of architecture. “I think pushing that boundary is important, seeing what’s possible both technologically and artistically. What have people not seen before? I think that part really motivates me to be creative and innovative in the design and build aspect. That, makes it more fulfilling and kind of drives me,” said Wang.

“I get a lot of inspiration from just looking at different places. I would look up resorts in Bali, Mexico, and other various parts of the world and try to understand their different design language,” explained Wang, “looking at things globally and saying ‘well what are these people doing in different parts of the world?’ and then taking inspiration from that and combining elments into what we’re designing for our clients.”

Things didn’t always come so easy for Wang, who let us know that the moment he started to become known, he made a typical mistake many design firms make. “I think in 2017, at that time, I had a lot of business. I made a mistake, as a lot of people do, and took on way more than I could chew. I think at that time, I had about 50 projects backlogged, and I was doing about 30 projects at once. It was brutal, and we were losing money left and right,” said Wang.

In order to regain some sanity, Wang said that he was forced to take a break to complete the projects he had in backlog. “I couldn’t build for like two years because we just had so many in backlog,” explained Wang, “I did have time to do design, so what I ended up doing was I was doing my projects during the day, and at night, I would go home and design for other people.”

“That was roughly the same time that I started doing social media. People see would see our designs on social media and it just kind of took off from there,” said Wang.

Wang’s visionary designs are clearly not only appreciated by the pool industry but by the general public as well. Having amassed an enormous social media following, he has plans to leverage his brand in new and exciting ways.

Luxury Outdoor Living Area - Danny Wang - Photo Credit: Jimi Smith Photography
Luxury Outdoor Living Area by Elite Pool Designer Danny Wang – Photo Credit: Jimi Smith Photography

“Our content is entertaining and also educating people. There’s a lot of stuff we can learn now through social media, where we have a worldwide audience. I didn’t know that there were so many different types of building techniques and different elements used throughout the rest of the world. So that’s really eye-opening, and I learned a lot. I also see other people learning a lot from the content that I’m producing and that’s very interesting to me,” said Wang.

Often eager to show off the latest design trends, we asked Wang what’s trending with his social media audience. “I think bigger and crazier water features. We’re using a lot more lighting versus just the traditional on-and-off people are used to. We’re doing smart lighting where we can control the water feature lighting and that creates a whole new element of the design. DMX lighting where the water features change color with the music. LED’s can have patterns and the pool almost becomes like a musical stage.”

By the millions of likes and shares his content is getting, it’s clear that folks are excited about what Wang is doing in the backyard. “You just don’t see these types of things happening in your ordinary backyard,” said Wang.

It’s clear Wang’s portfolio of over-the-top luxury resort-style swimming pools continues to grow almost as quickly as his social media following. Wang said he has every intention of turning the brand into a household name. “We’re kind of getting into product development. Right now we’re talking with tile and fire pit manufacturers. We’re also going to start developing our own indoor and outdoor product lines. So lots of exciting things going on,” said Wang.

Listen to our entire conversation with elite pool designer Danny Wang on the Pool Magazine podcast.

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Contractors and Builders

Basecrete Launches OnDeck Wearable Waterproofing System

OnDeck waterproofing system promises to be a real game changer for pool contractors.

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Basecrete Launches OnDeck Wearable Waterproofing System

When it comes to the waterproofing of residential and commercial pool vessels, Basecrete Technologies has long been a leader in waterproof bondcoatings for the pool and spa industry. Recently, Pool Magazine had the opportunity to catch up with Vito Mariano and Christopher Gates to discuss the newest innovation to hit the pool trade, OnDeck, a new system they claim will revolutionize waterproofing.

The OnDeck Difference

“The actual application process is super simple. It can go horizontal and vertical and can be textured as the installer sees fit. Heavy and light textures can be rolled on, shot on, or troweled on but it’s based on the same science as Basecrete,” said Gates, who will be managing the OnDeck product.

One of the primary reasons the new system is predicted to be a surefire hit with pool contractors is due to its versatility, which Gates says will be a game-changer. “You can take a new project and marry it to an old project. Our material allows you to build up an old existing deck that’s chipped and broken. You can clean it out and build up to two-inch lifts using the material to build that up so that it’s seamlessly the same elevation as the new concrete. Then you coat the whole thing with OnDeck and it all is just beautiful and elegant. That all happens out of one bag and bucket of polymer.,” explained Gates.

OnBase – OnDeck – OnTop is the 1,2,3 Waterproofing System Pool Contractors have been searching for.

Versatility and Customization

OnDeck is sure to appeal to contractors who have experienced frustration with other products in the past said Gates. As an industry veteran, he knows those frustrations first-hand, “you have to buy a bag of this for horizontal, and a bag of that for vertical, and a bag of that for waterproofing. Ours is just real simple,” explained Gates.

Color options and customization are a big factor when it comes to decking materials. OnDeck promises to alleviate many of those concerns as well. “The last coating is a pigmented stain and sealer which comes in seven different colors. We operate in a light base and a dark base so you can tint a custom color,” said Gates, “if you have a big project, say you were doing a stadium, for example, and you wanted to have the colors of the team, you can get your own color mixed with a lighter or darker base.”

A Cost Effective Waterproofing System

The OnDeck system is all the brain-child of Vito Mariano who has a history of producing award-winning products of this nature. His strategy for propelling the system into the market is to win contractors with a better product they can have at a smarter price point than what they’ve already been accustomed to using.

“Price per square foot is number one,” said Mariano, “OnDeck is not expensive and it’s a fast waterproofing decking system at the same time. Now you get all these new benefits that the industry isn’t used to; instead of just your typical low-end cementitious spray, roll on, epoxy or latex-based material. We’re staying focused on simplicity, our waterproofing capability, and price. That’s very important out there.”

OnDeck - Basecrete Decking System
OnDeck – Basecrete Decking System

Bringing OnDeck To The Industry

Mariano is confident in having an industry professional like Gates to help drive the product in the market. “I’ve been producing OnDeck for a long time. The formula goes back many years,” said Mariano, “and I’ve used it again and again for my own applications. I never really had the time to pursue it because I was busy with other products. We think Christopher will be ideal for us. He’s got an edge because he knows the industry and he gets it. “

The success of Basecrete has industry insiders eager to demo the OnDeck system. “I had a phone call from a gentleman I did a contract with a while back who wanted to thank me. He told me ‘Where has this product been? I’ve used everything out there in the last 35 years. I’ve never seen anything this good before.’ He now has 60 driveways totally converted to the OnDeck system and will be doing our training,” said Mariano.

Mariano expects many brand ambassadors to come forth and champion the product in the coming months. “We’ve got folks like Jose Garcia from Barefoot Pools in Arizona, chomping at the bit to get this product. He does phenomenal Basecrete applications on hundreds of pools. Those are the kind of companies and applicators that we’re going to go for,” said Mariano.

Gates, who has a long history in the pool industry, previously with California Pools and San Juan Pools; says the timing is ripe for a product of this nature.

OnDeck decking system by Basecrete Technologies
OnDeck decking system by Basecrete Technologies – Photo Credit: Basecrete

“On pool and deck projects many years ago we started doing polymer overlays and acrylic top coats. Every one of them kind of marched to the beat of their own drummer, and you had to figure each system out. You’d try to stick with one that you could use if you knew the idiosyncrasies of a given system,” explained Gates, “when Vito started telling me that it’s the same bag to make the material that goes on the flat deck, that goes up the walls, that waterproofs the corners; it’s just different mixing styles – that’s got me excited. That coupled with this fellow he’s talking about who will doing all the training for our team members that are coming on board makes it a no-brainer,” explained Gates.

Listen to our entire conversation and learn more about the OnDeck system on the Pool Magazine podcast.

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Manufacturer

An In-Depth Look at Stadium Swim with Bradford Products

Stadium Swim is an over-the-top luxury swimming pool sportsbook experience like no other.

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An In-Depth Look at Stadium Swim with Bradford Products

Bradford Products has long been a manufacturer of stainless steel vessels. With a pedigree for producing world-class resort-style swimming pools and water features, the firm has long been the go-to source when it comes to high-end projects. The fact should come as no surprise that Bradford Products was firm behind the world-famous Stadium Swim, a massive swimming pool sports book located at the Circa Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Recently, we had the opportunity to discuss the pool at greater length with Mike Sage, VP of Sales & Marketing for Bradford Products who gave us some insight into why Bradford was tapped for this particular project.

Why Bradford Products Was Chosen For The Stadium Swim Project

“The backbone of our company, and certainly the largest part of our business, is the Aquatic vertical,” said Sage, “that is what encompasses primarily all of the custom and commercial elevated stainless steel pool and spas. I think that’s probably what we’re most well-known for. That goes for anything that goes on top of an apartment building or a Las Vegas pool deck or any number of our other custom applications for swimming pools and spas around the world.”

With over 10,000 pool and spa installations worldwide, Sage said the project planners behind Circa didn’t have to look far to find Bradford Products. The firm has been responsible for many well-known resort swimming pools all over the world. In fact, they were involved in the collaboration of another high-end pool project in London that made headlines across the globe, (Sky Pool).

“We’ve got a lot of experience in Las Vegas working with most of the major resorts and casinos there having installed just a tremendous number of pools and decks,” said Sage. “For most of the major players out there, Circa was unique for a couple of different reasons. It’s located in the old downtown part of Las Vegas. It’s a much tighter environment down there, which in and of itself created some unique challenges in constructing that particular casino. Certainly, the pool presented some unique challenges.”

Swim Stadium - Photo Credit: Ryan Gobuty
Swim Stadium – Photo Credit: Ryan Gobuty

“When it came down to it, there really was no other choice in their mind but to work with us,” said Sage. For project planners, it made sense to choose Bradford Products. The Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Golden Nugget, Wynn, Encore, and Palms Casino are only a few of the commercial clients they have had the fortune to work with. Consequently, the 40-year-old firm’s reputation proceeds them in the market when it comes to resort swimming pools in Las Vegas.

“Ultimately why Bradford was chosen as the pool supplier there. I would say first and foremost, by far the primary reason was because of the actual orientation of the pool deck. Stadium Swim sits directly above the gaming floor of the casino. And that is the heart and soul and money generator for that casino,” explained Sage, “there had to be an absolute highest level and sense of security that these pools were not going to leak or eventually leak over time. So Bradford was chosen because of our ability to deliver a fully welded, fully guaranteed watertight, stainless steel pool that would be placed directly over the most critical part of the casino.”

Stadium Swim has quickly become one of the most popular pool destinations in Las Vegas. – Photo Credit: Circa

“They needed the ability to get these pools up to the pool deck in some pretty tight environments, “said Sage, “they also needed an organization that had the ability to maximize the full section sizes for transportation including craning and rigging, but still doing it in a manner that was conducive to staying on construction schedules and fitting into some pretty tight spaces.”

Stadium Swim, a Unique Pool Experience Like No Other

While the project was a monumental undertaking, it’s all in a day’s work said Sage, who claims to be eager to tackle the next huge Las Vegas project that comes along. This project is just another feather in the cap for the firm as they continue to dominate when it comes to Las Vegas commercial work. The end results of the Stadium Swim clearly speak for themselves.

The unique design of Stadium Swim makes it a world-class rooftop pool experience. Photo Credit: Circa

“It truly is a really unique design. There are six pools and they are tiered. So the closer pools are set at the lower elevation, and then the further away that you get from the television screens, the higher up the pools go. So it is truly a stadium seating experience and layout,” explained Sage.

“It’s also the first of its kind in that the pool deck also doubles as a sports book,” explained Sage, “there’s a massive wall of TVs that are broadcasting any number of sporting events. The pools and spas on the pool deck basically act as the seating for watching the action. I can tell you, it’s quite comfortable having been on the deck in the middle of August in Las Vegas. There’s no better place to sit than in Stadium Swim and enjoy the big game. That’s certainly what captures everybody’s attention, are the massive screens.”

Open 365 – 24/7 – The action never stops at stadium swim where you can pop in for a night swim. Photo Credit: Circa

We’re certainly intrigued by the project and it’s no wonder why Stadium Swim is rated #1 on our list of the Best Pools in Las Vegas. We’ll keep you updated with more great content about Stadium Swim when we visit it during our trip to the International Pool Spa Patio Expo in November.

Learn more about the history of Bradford Products, their involvement with the Sky Pool and Stadium Swim on the Pool Magazine podcast.

Photo Credits: Circa Resort & Casino
Featured Photo Credit: Ryan Gobuty

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