Editor’s Note: Mission Valley Pools & Spas is not affiliated with Escondido, Calif.-based Mission Pools.
Update: Mission Valley Pools & Spas filed for Chapter 7
bankruptcy June 20. Court documents filed by company President
Robert Cunningham listed 50 pool and/or spa projects that had not
been completed. According to the papers, the builder owed just
under $207,000 to PoolCorp. In addition to the PoolCorp debt,
approximately $266,000 appears to be owed to subcontractors and
suppliers. The papers listed a total of $902,000 owed to creditors
with unsecured non-priority claims.
One of the largest pool building companies in the San Diego area
abruptly closed its doors in early June.
Mission Valley Pools & Spas, a Pool & Spa News Top Builder,
is said to have left projects incomplete, with subcontractors in
the area reportedly being approached by homeowners looking to
finish their pools.
In early June, the Contractors State License Board received five
complaints about the company, charging abandonment, willful or
fraudulent act, failure to pay for materials or services, and
diversion or failure to account for funds. The agency is currently
investigating those complaints and has reopened another filed at
the end of last year.
A source close to Mission Valley reported hearing of at least 10
such pools, but said the count may reach closer to 30. The source
also stated that certain company employees may be trying to assist
at least some clients.
Calls to Mission Valley’s offices were not returned.
At least three subcontractors are known to have been left unpaid,
and the company’s sudden closure has some reconsidering their
work and bill collection policies.
California Plumbing is reportedly owed $15,000 by Mission Valley,
even though the firm received two payments after the builder
closed, according to Robert Currier, president of the Lakeside,
Calif., subcontractor. Since the economy went south, he said,
he’s been left with a total of $400,000 in outstanding bills
because of builders shutting down.
“My retirement is gone,” Currier said. “I’m
64 now, so I’ll just keep working until I can’t work
anymore. But a lot of this happened just because of the economy.
It’s my own fault for letting people get so stretched
Though some are surprised that a firm of Mission Valley’s
size would close this far into the recession, some in the area say
it’s remained an uphill battle.
“Last year was a lot tougher for us than any other year
we’ve had,” said Rob Ault, president of Pacific Sun
Pool & Spa, also a Pool & Spa News Top Builder
in San Diego. “I have to assume it was the same for the other
companies in this town.”
On its Pool & Spa News Top 50 application form,
Mission Valley reported 102 excavations and just under $7.5 million
in total revenue in 2011.
Local permit data indicates that Mission Valley filed for 68
projects in San Diego County, for a 9 percent market share in 2011.
However, that number wouldn’t include permits pulled by
others on behalf of the builder, including landscape professionals
That number was up slightly from 2009 and 2010, when Mission Valley
pulled 63 and 66 permits, respectively.
These figures were provided by Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, a research firm
supplying information on housing and related markets. HWMI is owned
by the parent company of Pool & Spa News.