Last December, MAAX Spas Industries Corp., a private-equity-owned manufacturer located in Chandler, Ariz., purchased L.A. Spas, a 38-year-old producer that had been based in Anaheim, Calif.
In addition to its manufacturing facilities, L.A. Spas had two factory stores, one in Las Vegas and the other in Tucson, Ariz. MAAX, a producer with several hot-tub brands under its umbrella, approached Tim Murphy, founder of the Phoenix-area Pool & Spa News Top Builder.
Murphy decided to add the stores to his existing retail outlets. He did not disclose the sale price.
Presidential Pools has had a retail presence in Phoenix and Tucson for four years. The new purchase doubles the company’s exposure in Tucson and introduces it in a new state. Additionally, Presidential’s portable-spa sales are expected to jump from approximately 250 per year to about 650.
All employees at the L.A. Spas stores are being retained, Murphy said. Two Presidential managers have been charged with overseeing the locations. Mike Foster now runs the Las Vegas store in addition to the Phoenix-area outlet he already handled. Veteran retailer Dave McKibben manages the L.A. Spas store in Tucson, along with Presidential’s existing retail outlet there.
Much will remain the same at the stores, each of which has been in operation more than 20 years. Both will continue their branding as L.A. Spas Factory Stores. “They have a great reputation and a longevity in both marketplaces,” Murphy said. Presidential assumes the lease on the properties.
While the product lineups will largely remain intact, Murphy expects to add the outdoor furniture lines already being sold at Presidential stores.
The purchase gives Presidential ownership of the top-selling hot-tub store in Las Vegas, with a volume of approximately 350 per year, Murphy said.
Though he’s entering the Las Vegas market, Murphy said he has no intention to begin building there.
“There’s so much growth here in Phoenix,” he said. “I really think the Phoenix market is going to turn on, and we’re going to have our hands full here.”
Last year, Presidential built 1,043 pools, representing 15 percent in growth. Of the pools, 158 were installed in the Tucson area and the rest in metropolitan Phoenix.
“Going to another state, there’s a lot more to it. … There are different tax laws, different building laws. There are a lot of dynamics,” Murphy said. “That’s why there are not many pool builders that build in multiple states. I’m not going to say never, but I am going to say not soon.”
However, Murphy does plan to expand his retail division into other areas and possibly other states.
“Our goal is to expand the footprint of aboveground spas,” Murphy said. “It’ll help us — our buying power will be stronger. And it’s a much easier business to grow than taking pool building into a whole other city.”
Presidential entered the retail market four years ago, with shops attached to its building offices. Retail offerings are restricted to hot tubs, hot-tub chemicals and parts, outdoor furniture and aboveground pools.
Before the purchase of the L.A. Spas stores, Presidential had four locations, one of which, in Scottsdale, Ariz., opened within the last year.