One of the oldest and largest pool companies in the nation is denying that it has closed a major part of its operations.

Rumors have circulated in Phoenix saying that Paddock Pools, Patios & Spas in Scottsdale, Ariz., shut down construction around Christmastime.

An official with Lincolnshire Management , a private equity firm with ownership in Paddock, denied that it has closed its construction operation. “Paddock Pools has not closed its construction division,” said Michael Forlenza, a managing director with Lincolnshire. “Management has scaled back costs to better position the company to operate in a challenging economic climate.”

Paddock would not provide further details and did not indicate whether it is currently taking on new contracts.

It is not known if the retail operation will be affected.

If the company has stopped building, said one local pool builder who asked to remain anonymous, it is a sad occasion. “They’ve been in business [more than 50 years],” the builder said. “They’re kind of an icon in the pool industry. You never really want to see a company like that go out of business. That being said, it makes you realize that the industry is definitely consolidating.”

The company has roots in the original Paddock Pools, founded in 1924 by Pascal Paddock, known to many as the father of the pool industry. In 1958, George Ghiz purchased a franchise from Paddock Pools of California and so began the next phase of the brand’s historic rise.

Ghiz’s company was first called Paddock Pool Distributing Co. and was a combination manufacturer/ distributor/ builder and franchiser. Ghiz quickly split the company, retaining the Paddock name for the construction arm and calling the manufacturing and distribution segment Paramount.

By 1988, when George Ghiz passed away, his sons were running the firm. Lewis “Buzz” Ghiz served as president, David Ghiz as senior vice president in charge of retail, and Edward Ghiz oversaw construction.

The Ghizes took the company to the next level in part by courting home builders, which accounted for 60 percent of Paddock’s construction in 2004.

That same year, the builder boasted a 22 percent share of the then-burgeoning pool market. At that time, the company had eight locations in Phoenix and two in Las Vegas, building approximately 2,500 pools per year.

Paddock was a Pool & Spa News Top Builder for nine years. Until it dropped out of the list in 2012, it remained in the top 10, reaching as high as No. 3 in 2003 and 2004.

Yet construction accounted for only part of the firm’s dominance. In 1964, George Ghiz built one of the first known display centers in the industry, called Gardentown, a 10-acre space with eight pools and five spas. This began a tradition of backyard superstores, and soon fellow retailers around the country began incorporating vast showrooms.

In 2005, the Ghizes sold Paddock to private equity, but kept Paramount in the family. Today, Buzz Ghiz sits at the helm of the manufacturer. By 2009, the bottom had fallen out of the Phoenix economy, and Paddock’s revenue and market share dropped significantly.

Note: There are other pool and spa companies with the name Paddock located in a variety of markets across the nation. They are unrelated to the Scottsdale-based firm.