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4 Ways to Enjoy Your Backyard This Fall

Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space During the Fall

Just because your pool may be closed and the weather's a little chilly doesn’t mean you have to retreat indoors until spring. In fact, your outdoor living space is the ideal place to spend your time during the fall—and even winter—months. Here are just a few ways to enjoy your backyard this fall.

Enjoy your outdoor living space during fall

1. Fall is one of the best times to enjoy your hot tub. Spend a relaxing fall afternoon basking in the warm, bubbling water as you watch the colorful leaves fall around you. Check out the range of hot tub models available from Maax Spas.

2. Nothing says fall quite like gathering around a fire pit with family and friends, sipping warm apple cider and roasting marshmallows. Take a look at these stylish fire pit options.

3. Fall means football for many households across the country. Instead of huddling up indoors to watch the game, take a cue from Amy's Party Ideas and host a backyard tailgate party.

4. There’s no need to close up the outdoor kitchen just yet. Plenty of fall vegetables and fruits taste even better grilled, and are a great accompaniment to grilled pork and steak. Find delicious grilling recipes for vegetables, pizza, and ribs here.

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10 Benefits of a Swim Spa

By Debra Maurer

Swim spa Diamond Spas indoor pool fitness tile decorSwim spas are a combination of a hot tub and a swimming pool, which means—like most 2-for-1 items—they provide twice the bang for your buck. So what do these aquatic hybrids have to offer? Here are 10 benefits:

1. Compact size. Bigger than a hot tub, and smaller than a pool, swim spas are perfect for small yards.

2. Year-round swimming. By programming a set water temperature and keeping the cover on when not in use, you can use your swim spa hot tub all year long.

3. No flipturns necessary. Swim laps without interruption or reaching for the wall. 

4. Forget sharing a lane. No need to wait around for a lane to open up when you have your own private swim lane at home.

5. Challenge muscles. Water’s resistance makes for more challenging movements.

6. Low-impact. Thanks to water’s buoyancy, swimming is a low-impact activity with little risk of injury. 

7. Replaces your gym membership. Exercise using an underwater bike or treadmill, resistance bands, and rowing system—all in a swim spa. 

8. Smaller carbon footprint. Swim spas use much less water than a pool, meaning they require fewer chemicals and less energy to run, which also reduces your cost.

9. Unique options. Some manufacturers offer swim spas with deep water wells. This means the floor of the swim spa opens up to provide another 1 – 2 feet of depth, perfect for deep-water running.

10. Hydrotherapy. Enjoy the pulsating jets of a swim spa hot tub before or after your workout, or during a relaxing weekend.

Bonus: Did you know swim spas are great training tools for competitive swimmers? Learn how Michael Phelps used a swim spa to train for the London Olympics.

For a list of recommended swim spa manufacturers, visit our Swim Spas Buyers' Guide.

Photo courtesy of Diamond Spas; Photography by Cameron Neilson

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Marquis Launches Round Hot Tub Model


Marquis round model 524 hot tubWith the launch of the new 524TM spa, Marquis’ e-Series Hot Tubs is going retro with a modern spin on the classic round hot tub. But while this tub may have a classic shape, it’s nothing like your father’s hot tub.


“With the 524, we’ve taken the nostalgia that comes with the circular shape and married it with a new look and modern conveniences,” said John Schrenk, Marquis’ President. “It’s the best of both worlds, merging old hot tub tradition with today’s technology and features.”


The 524 comfortably seats five people with its therapy seats in multiple heights. The 24 jets provide plenty of action for all users, plus its footwell jets benefit everyone in the hot tub. In addition to five therapy seats, the 524 also has a cool down seat that doubles as an entry step.


The easy-to-operate controls face the inside of the hot tub for ultimate convenience. The exterior of this new spa measures 76 inches round and 34 inches high. A spin around the surface reveals soft, rounded lines. The 524 has a dazzling waterfall feature and consumers can enhance the mood with the Twilight colored light show.


About Marquis


Marquis, an Oregon-based employee-owned company, has been manufacturing premium portable hot tubs and for over 30 years. The company distributes its products in the U.S., Canada and Europe via its extensive distributor and dealer network. For more information please call (800) 275-0888 or visit www.marquisspas.com.

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Watkins Manufacturing Acquires American Hydrotherapy Systems

Watkins Manufacturing, a leading maker of hot tubs worldwide, announces the acquisition of the assets of American Hydrotherapy Systems (AHS), manufacturer of Freeflow Spas® and a leader in the rotationally molded spa and business category. With the purchase of Ontario, California-based AHS, Watkins adds roto-molded Freeflow Spas to its portfolio of premium Watkins spa brands, which include Caldera® Spas and Hot Spring® Spas.

“The addition of Freeflow Spas to our family of quality hot tub brands fits perfectly with our consumer strategy to deliver the right products to the right markets at the right prices,” says Steve Hammock, President of Watkins Manufacturing. “We want our Watkins-brand retailers, whenever possible, to be a one-stop-shop in fulfilling the hot water relaxation needs of today’s discriminating consumer. Integrating this quality selection of Freeflow Spas products into our retail offering will allow shoppers to get the hot tub they want from us, whether they choose an entry level model or the most premium spa.”

“Our business was not ‘overtly for sale’ but Watkins presented us with an interesting opportunity we simply had to consider,” explains Bob Gawlik, general manager, American Hydrotherapy Systems. “Over the years, many other companies have approached us. But Watkins, an icon in our industry, was the first suitor that we believed would perpetuate what we have worked so hard to build in a manner we think will honor the company’s values.”

“Over the years, we’ve been very impressed with the product offering developed by, and the integrity of, the AHS team,” says Hammock. Over the next several quarters, the AHS business will transition to Watkins worldwide headquarters in Vista, California. “Watkins celebrated the manufacture of our one-millionth hot tub in September 2011, and together with this strategic acquisition of AHS we believe we are positioned for continued growth in the future,” adds Hammock.

About Watkins Manufacturing Corporation

Watkins Manufacturing was established in 1977, in Vista, California. The company is a leading manufacturer of hot tubs worldwide, including Hot Spring® Spas, Limelight® Hot Tubs, Hot Spot® Spas and Caldera® Spas. The Watkins Dealer network extends into all 50 states and over 60 countries. Watkins is a division of Masco Corporation, a Fortune 500 company whose products include Delta® Faucets, KraftMaid® Cabinets, and Behr® paint.

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Watkins’ One Millionth Spa Raises Money for Fallen Firefighters

Watkins Presents Donation to Fallen Firefighters AssocThirty-four years in the making, Watkins Manufacturing has earned the reputation as a global leader in the hot tub industry. In October 2011, the company reached the significant milestone of producing its 1 millionth spa and held an online auction among Hot Spring Spas retailers worldwide for the chance to own it. Watkins pledged to match the winning bid and donate 100 percent of the proceeds to an important charity, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.


As a result of the competitive bidding that took place during the week of the auction, Bruno Woodtli owner of Hewoo AG, a Hot Spring Spas dealership in Switzerland, won the one millionth spa (an Aria model) with a final bid of $17,200. As planned, Watkins Manufacturing is matching the winning bid, providing a total donation amount $34,400 to support the families of fallen firefighters across the United States.


“We would like to extend a special thank you to Hewoo AG, and to all the dealers nationally and worldwide who rallied to the call and participated in the auction—we sincerely appreciate such generous support,” said Steve Hammock, president of Watkins Manufacturing. “We look forward to partnering with our retailers in the future to continue the good work of donating to causes like the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.”


“This generous gift from Watkins Manufacturing will help support the Foundation‘s mission to provide services and assistance to the families of firefighters who died in the line of duty,” said Ronald J. Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. “We recently honored 89 fallen firefighters, including four from California, at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and we appreciate Watkins Manufacturing‘s commitment to our efforts.”



About Watkins Manufacturing Corporation


Watkins Manufacturing was established in 1977, in Vista, California. They are the world‘s largest manufacturer of hot tubs, including Hot Spring® Spas, Limelight® Hot Tubs, Hot Spot® Spas and Caldera® Spas. The Watkins Dealer network extends into all 50 states and over 60 countries. Watkins is a division of Masco Corporation, a Fortune 500 company whose products include Delta® Faucets, KraftMaid® Cabinets, and Behr® paint.


Pictured right to left: Mike Dunn, Executive VP, Watkins; Steve Hammock, President, Watkins; Roger Lamberson, VP, Operations, Watkins; Chris Peavey, VP, Finance, Watkins; Matt Kennedy, Engineer, Vista Fire Dept.; Mark Standifird, Captain, Vista Fire Dept.; Mike Romeo, Firefighter, Vista Fire Dept.; Wanda Gilbert, Rep for NFFF; Leo Hamacher, VP, Int‘l Sales & Mktg, Watkins; Mark Bettner, Director, Customer Service, Watkins; Harry Sundblad, VP, Corp. Bus Dev, Watkins; Ryan Sessler, VP, Sales & Mktg, Watkins; Robin French, VP, Engineering, Watkins

Photo courtesy of Watkins Mfg.

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Sundance Spas Introduces Energy-Efficient Hot Tub Line

Sundance Spas, an internationally recognized leader in the hot tub industry, has introduced its Elite Series, a new line of luxury spas that reduce energy consumption and deliver high-end hydro-massage features.

Designed from the ground up by the Sundance Spas’ engineering and product development team, the new Elite Series consists of the Constance™ and Victoria™ models that include exclusive improvements, such as impressive energy efficiency, a high-performance spa cover upgrade and a distinctive matching step for easy access.

“According to consumer research, energy efficiency is an important consideration for hot tub owners and for those in the market,” said Larry Ovalle, senior manager of product marketing at Sundance Spas. “For this reason, Sundance Spas is introducing the most energy-efficient spa designs in its class with these models. The insulating system builds upon the prestigious Sundance RigidBond™ construction and full foam insulation by adding an additional thermal layer.”

“We took the spa design one step further with premium features and sophisticated aesthetics such as a finished cabinetry look on the exterior of the units. We’re also offering an optional matching step and other amenities that perfect the spa experience,” said Ovalle. A new SunStrong™ hot tub cover further increases efficiency through the use of ultra-high-density foam while also delivering superior performance with an exterior made of highly durable Sunbrella® brand material.

Unique to both models is an optional VersaStep™, heavy-duty, color-coordinated steps with a handrail for easy spa access that also serve as a towel holder and built-in storage for towels, sunscreens and other accessories. Additionally, the Elite Series offers superior hydrotherapy with patented Fluidix™ jet technology; SMT™ leg jets in the lounge for a targeted calf and hamstring massage; a new cool down seat for easier access, safety and comfort; a low-profile foot dome with up to eight jets; and exterior lighting.

Constance™ and Victoria™ models are available in seven acrylic tub colors; two available cabinet colors; and two SunStrong™ insulated spa cover options.


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