A NZ-US partnership
Dale Paretovich, owner, founder and operator of Hot Spring NZ, says portable spas took off in NZ only five years after they first became available in California. Dale started manufacturing the first portable spa for NZ and Australia in 1980. He produced only two models and the technology was basic.
To check out the latest international technology, Dale went to a pool and spa show in Las Vegas. It was there he started talking to the Sales Manager of the USA company Watkins Manufacturing Corporation, producers of Hot Spring Spas.
“At the time they were the largest manufacturer of portable spas in the world – and they still are. Over a beer, we decided to do a joint venture.”
This arrangement, started on a handshake in Las Vegas, combined Hot Spring’s unique technology with Dale’s exporting knowledge, and led to expansion across NZ, Australia and Eastern Asia. Hot Spring spas are now sold through a network of dealerships in 220 countries. Customers can access the same standard of service, warranty and support anywhere in the world.
Leading by design
The design innovation that first sparked Dale’s interest in Hot Spring has kept the company at the top of the portable spa industry. As well as the invention of the moving massager, which remains a top seller today, Hot Spring has been the first to bring out:
- Artificial timber for spas
- Rust-proof, titanium heaters
- ACE® Salt Water System – a patented salt water system that makes its own chemicals, with chlorine levels the same as drinking water. Water can be in a spa for a year or two instead of having to be changed every month.
- Spas with fully solid foam, which adds to the price of a spa, but reduces running costs by about 75%.
Quality made to last
Hot Spring spas were manufactured in NZ for 30 years. This meant that Dale could oversee the quality of every spa – the company had a low warranty rate that was similar to a high quality European car. However, a shortage of skilled labour meant he had to make the tough decision to move the manufacturing to the US. As always, maintaining quality was at the top of his mind but Dale didn’t need to be concerned, because the US plant operated to an equally high standard.
Image sourced from a product brochure circa 1989. Dale with his wife Nerida and their two daughters enjoying time in one of NZ’s first portable spas.
The company is the only one in the industry to have both their factory and distribution systems meet the quality control levels needed for the ISO9001 rating – an externally measured standard they’re proud to achieve.
The NZ-US partnership has another quality control advantage for their customers. The parent company is publicly listed. Under US law Hot Spring must keep spare parts for 20 years, and alternative parts for every spa they’ve ever made.
As Dale says, most of the company’s oldest competitors are less than six years old, often folding after each recession, leaving their customers with spas that can’t be serviced.
With replacement parts always available, Hot Spring spas really are made to last. And when customers feel as if it’s time for an upgrade, they can trade in their Hot Spring spa for a newer model. Dale explains, “We’ll refurbish it, sell it with a one year warranty and it may last for another 20 years if it’s properly looked after and serviced.”
So it’s no overpromise to say that when you buy a Hot Spring spa, you can look forward to decades of daily relaxation.
Visit Ford HotSpring spas - NZ Dealer of the year 2016 to experience the 40-year difference – with a quality spa that is made to last.