No. 4-ranked Shasta Industries is different from the other three companies who beat it to the apex of this year’s Pool & Spa News Top 50 Builders list. Unlike multiregional firms such as Blue Haven Pools & Spas, Anthony & Sylvan Pools Corp. and Paddock Pools, Shasta serves only one area: the Phoenix metro.

Last year, the company constructed 2,450 pools and netted $93 million in revenues, up approximately 2 percent from 2002. The company also is poised for incredible growth: In the first six months of 2004, Shasta has sold more than 2,000 new pools — a company record — and expects to sell between 3,400 and 3,600 by year’s end.

“This year and last, we literally had to cut down on our advertising,” says Ed “Skip” Ast, the company’s founder/president. “Because of our partnership with a lot of the home builders in town, we got so many leads, we were overwhelmed.”

Shasta proudly notes a 75 percent referral rate. In fact, the majority of projects in its renovation division are pools the company built nearly 20 years earlier. “That’s our goal,” says Rick Mortensen, director of organizational development. “When the word ‘Shasta’ is mentioned, we want the customer to be so happy, so evangelical, [that] they’re a walking advertisement.”

To that end, Shasta partnered with FranklinCovey Co. in 1998. The Salt Lake City-based productivity firm helps companies improve employee training and assessment.

“People tend to spend little time on how to work with other people,” Mortensen says. “[That training is] what’s given us the edge. We’re much more powerful united than operating as separate business units.”

In the late 1960s, Ast took over Shasta from his brother, a home builder with some pool construction experience. Within two years, the firm became the top pool builder in Phoenix. Now, two of Ast’s sons, Jeff and Steve, are Shasta executives, continuing the tradition alongside many other second- and third-generation employees.

“There’s definitely a family mentality,” says Jeff Ast, who is vice president of construction. He has worked on Shasta digs since age 10. “In one day, we’ll finish 19 pools. We have to rely on our people to represent Shasta and see that the work is done.”


  • Top 50 Builders

View the list of the Top 50 Builders.


  • 1 Blue Haven Pools & Spas
  • 2 Anthony & Sylvan Pools Corp.
  • 3 Paddock Pools
  • 4 Shasta Industries
  • 5 Swan Pools