For the past two months of self isolating, families have been looking for ways to stay entertained at home. And now that summer favorites like swimming pools won’t be opening, many people are trying to bring some summer fun to their own back yard.
Spring is usually always a busy season for Combined Pools and Spas, but when the pandemic hit in March, owner Jeff Carlson worried how it would impact his sales.
“In the beginning of the pandemic we prepared for the worst and it was the complete opposite. Right when everything was announced and schools were closed, there was nothing for families to do so they kept coming into the store and we couldn’t deliver things fast enough,” Carlson said.
Over the past two months, his newly expanded showroom has emptied considerably.
“Hot tubs, you know I like to think we have a lot in stock because when people buy it they want it right away and that’s what we try to provide. And we basically are out of hot tubs…hopefully, that will be replenished in June we’re hoping,” Carlson said.
He says some hot tub manufacturers had to pause production, but Carlson already has a waiting list for when things come back in stock.
“We’re actually taking pre-orders for hot tubs and that list is getting longer than I can believe,” he said.
It’s not just outdoor entertainment option having a busy season right now, indoor entertainment options are also selling fast.
“We sold more pool tables and shuffleboards in April than we did for Christmas in December. So people are doing whatever, not just the pool and spa, they’re doing whatever they can to keep their families entertained and happy,” Carlson said.
Many of these big entertainment purchases are happening online or with a virtual tour of the massive showroom. Carlson says it’s a big change from the usual customer connection Combined Pool and Spa is used to.
“Probably half of our business now is done over the phone,” he said. “People are buying swim spas at $50,000-$60,000 over the phone and I’ve never even seen the customers.”
As for in-ground pools, Carlson says his installation team was already booked for this year before the pandemic began, but the calls keep coming in.