Leap frog: Brand switch bolsters spa sales

Scott Alberts, left, owner of Watermark Spas & Pools, and Doug Grindle, manager of the Grand Junction business, demonstrate the operation of interchangeable seat-back units on Bullfrog spas. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Scott Alberts, left, owner of Watermark Spas & Pools, and Doug Grindle, manager of the Grand Junction business, demonstrate the operation of interchangeable seat-back units on Bullfrog spas. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Phil Castle, The Business Times

The old saying about what happens in offering a better mousetrap apparently holds true — at least when it comes to spas.

Customers have been beating a path to the door of Watermark Spas & Pools in Grand Junction to purchase Bullfrog spas.

Sales have doubled over the past year, an increase manager Doug Grindle attributed to switching to the Bullfrog brand. “We found a better mousetrap,” he said.

Scott Alberts, owner of Watermark Spas, was more direct: “It’s the best product out there, we believe.”

Bullfrog spas offer a number of advantages, Grindle and Alberts said, including less complicated plumbing that results in a spa that’s at the same time more powerful yet also more efficient and therefore less costly to operate.

One of the chief advantages, they said, are easily interchangeable seat-back units that enable customers to personalize their spas to offer the massage and therapy jets they prefer. Moreover, they can move what are branded as JetPaks from one seating position in the spa to another.

“You get to pick your therapy,” Grindle said.

Watermark Spas & Pools has offered Bullfrog brand spas since February, Alberts said. It’s the only brand Watermark Spas carries, and the dealer is the only one in the region to offer the brand, he said.

Grindle said number of models are available, ranging in size from those that accommodate just two people to those large enough for eight people.

All of the models share common attributes, though, in that they feature a simple plumbing design with only a few large hoses rather than a tangle of smaller hoses connected to individual jets.

That makes Bullfrog spas more efficient in heating water faster and maintaining that temperature. Moreover, the spas require less electricity and are therefore less costly to operate, Grindle said.

Repairs are less frequent and far easier to complete, Grindle added, estimating that service calls for Watermark Spas have dropped 90 percent.

That simplified plumbing connects to interchangeable seat-back units that offer different configurations of jets.

Bullfrog Spas offers 16 different JetPaks with strong, medium and light flows and different configurations of jets.

Some of the JetPaks offer penetrating back or neck massages, while others provide more gentle and soothing sensations, Grindle said.

The interchangeable components enable customers to install different types of jets in different seating positions in the spas and also move the components from position to position, he said.

That flexibility is appealing to customers who use spas for different reasons, whether that’s therapy, fitness or simply relaxation, he added.

Bullfrog Spas are durable, Grindle said, with a frame and shell constructed with composite materials that won’t rot. Foam insulation not only supports the shell, but also reduces electricity use.

The spas come in different interior and exterior colors. Color-coordinated steps are available.

The spas also come with a number of options, including an ozone treatment system that kills bacteria and minimizes the amount of chlorine needed to disinfect the water.

Various audio systems also are available that accommodate iPhones and iPods as well as offer wireless connections.

In addition, an application is available to control and monitor spas from smartphones or other mobile devices.

Along with Bullfrog spas, Watermark sells and installs swimming pools during a construction season that usually extends from February through October, Grindle said. The company installs anywhere from 10 to more than 20 pools a year, he said.

Alberts said the business employs seven people year-around and an additional five to eight people for pool installations.

Business has been good over the years, Grindle and Alberts said. The move in 2008 to a new location on West Mesa Court just off 25 Road has helped in offering customers easier access.

But the switch to Bullfrog Spas has been especially invigorating for the business as well as personally, they said.

“It’s made it fun again doing what we’re doing,” Grindle said.

Alberts agreed. “It’s exciting again.”

Watermark Spas & Pools is located at 2494 W. Mesa Court in Grand Junction. For more information, call 241-4133 or visit www.watermarkspas.com.

Phil Castle is editor of the Grand Valley Business Times, a twice-monthly business journal published in Grand Junction. Castle brings to his duties nearly 30 years of experience in editorial management positions with Western Colorado newspapers. In addition, his free-lance work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Washington Post. He holds a bachelor's degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University.
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