The co-owner of a prominent pool firm is taking his family’s good name from Phoenix to Music City, USA.
After serving as president of Rondo Pools and Spas for the past
decade, Steven Rondeau has established a new company in the greater
Nashville, Tenn., area.
“Our plan is to bring some of the energy-efficiency and
design technology we’ve developed into that market,”
The newly created firm, Rondo Pools, LLC, adds a reputable gunite
builder to a region that at one time was dominated by vinyl-liner
installations. Even today, Nashville remains vinyl-liner country,
though concrete has claimed a substantial share of the pie,
anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of current construction.
“There’s a lot happening in that area right now, and if
he’s going anywhere, I think Nashville is a great place to
be,” said Brian Worley, president/owner of Everclear Pool
& Backyards Co. in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Nine years ago, Steven Rondeau and his brother, Kevin, bought Rondo
Pools and Spas, a Pool & Spa News Top Builder, from
their father Robert, who founded the company with his wife, Judy,
With Steven as president and Kevin as vice president, Rondo built
on its successful heritage to remain one of the Phoenix
area’s leading pool businesses, building 477 residential
pools in 2005. But Arizona has been one of the hardest-hit pool
markets over the past few years, with new construction falling off
by approximately 80 percent, according to various estimates.
By contrast, much of the South has remained relatively stable
throughout the recession. And Nashville, which is home to scores of
country music stars and professional athletes, is generally
considered Tennessee’s high-rent district.
In fact, neighboring Williamson County consistently ranks among the
nation’s wealthiest counties (Forbes listed it No.
17 in 2010), with a median household income of more than
Also, the average price of a gunite pool in Nashville is about
double that of one in Phoenix, builders say.
Much of that has to do with available labor, which is far more
plentiful in Arizona; many Tennessee builders draw subcontractors
from the Atlanta area, which adds to their cost.
As for Rondeau, he said the relocation was spurred by a mix of
personal and professional factors, noting that a successful home
builder who years ago made a similar migration helped convince him
it was the right move.
Looking ahead, he said, “the goal over the next five years is
to do 50 to 75 pools a year,” adding that he expects to begin
operations by early February.