The tale of two Florida spa manufacturers, mired in nearly four years of bad blood, bankruptcy, name changes, litigation and intellectual property claims, may have come to a close.
Premium Leisure, LLC, formerly Hydro Spas, has purchased a substantial portion of assets from Living Water Products, which closed in March. Premium Leisure will retain key personnel from Living Water and continue to produce the Costco-distributed Pilates H20 brand.
Premium Leisure, which is based in St. Petersburg, Fla., also will manufacture Gulf Coast Spas under a new proprietary name.
“With these fresh products, people and pending programs, we are poised to launch some freshly designed, aggressively priced hot tub models into the marketplace,” company President Brian Wiley said in a statement.
Premium Leisure is no stranger to the Gulf Coast brand. From 1999 to 2005, Premium Leisure (at that time Hydro Spas) manufactured hot tubs for Living Water Products (at that time Gulf Coast Spa Manufacturers). In late 2005, Gulf Coast owner Brad Tatum ended the partnership, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
Hydro Spas subsequently sued Gulf Coast, claiming it was owed more than $2 million.
By 2007, the alleged debt was still unresolved, and the company faced mounting legal fees and discontinued distribution from Costco. This left Hydro Spas with little choice but to file for Chapter 11 protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Then, in December 2007, the company was bought by the newly incorporated Premium Leisure, which was headed by Wiley.
Living Waters dealt with a number of challenges as well. In December 2008, the Clearwater, Fla.-based firm received a foreclosure notice on its Tampa manufacturing facility. The company closed its doors three months later.
Look for more in-depth coverage in the May 29 issue of Pool & Spa News.