SMP Specialty Metal Products Inc. offers redesigned cover lifter
By Seraine Page
In May, SMP Specialty Metal Products Inc., released its new and improved cover lifter, the Visionlift Boomerang.
The lifter removes the need to drill a secondary location into the spa; instead, it slides into the company’s current Vision mounting bracket, and provides a combined 220 pounds of hydraulic assistance. It also brings the cover all the way to the ground, allowing spa users a 360-degree unobstructed view from their hot tub.
Based in Canada, SMP Specialty Metal Products Inc. has been around 20 years as an OEM providing metals, bronze and aluminum to companies in a variety of forms and grades. About 15 years ago, the company started working with the hot tub and pool industries, delivering products to distributors that put items like the Visionlift Boomerang on spa retailer shelves.
The Boomerang is ideal for customized spas or uniquely shaped cabinets, says Crystal Lengua, SMP sales and marketing manager, adding that the redesign goal was to recreate an easy-to-install universal lifter everyone could love. Ultimately, she says, it will save dealers time and consumers money.
Installers and dealers don’t always have the “time or patience to remove, reinforce and reinstall cabinetry,” says Ryan Godbersen, president of Byron Originals, Inc., a spa accessories distributor and manufacturer. “The Visionlift Boomerang will allow service personnel to spend less time in the field and the consumer more time in the spa, which is a rewarding experience for all.”
For Andrew MacKay, sales manager of aftermarket parts and accessories at Hydropool, it was a no-brainer for his company to carry the lifter.
“I’m not buying a piece of metal that opens a lid; I’m buying a customer’s experience,” MacKay says. “The VisionLift Boomerang does everything that the regular traditional cover lifters do, but with much more ease and a much more clear view [for customers]. It offers complete visibility to your backyard. The traditional cover lifter stands your cover straight up in the air.”
MacKay also likes that the Boomerang won’t require the use of screws or glue, which minimizes wear and tear. “You’re not going to be replacing this lifter or the covers,” he says. “Customers will love that. Dealers will love that.”
As for aesthetics, Lengua says dealers and customers will find the Visionlift Boomerang visually appealing. “We purposefully made it more sleek,” she says. “We feel like we’ve gone a little more modern with it. It’s going off the side of your tub, and we wanted to make sure it’s pretty and functional.”
The testing process, she says, may have been the most fun part of development. The creators set up the new product on-site for employees to try. Even smaller-framed women used the Visionlift Boomerang with two fingers, Lengua says.
“It went through some rigorous testing,” she says, including snowy days to ensure the corrosion resistant materials held up. “We took turns through the company and had everyone try it.”
Godbersen believes his retailers will be just as fascinated as he was with the new product.
“The [Visionlift] Boomerang is a revolutionary product with unmatched installation convenience, not to mention simple functionality, modern style and durability,” he says.
The fact that there’s no real need to reinforce composite cabinets for installation might be Godbersen’s favorite feature, but he’s excited to hear what his customers will have to say. “It’s a little difficult to say which feature our customers will love the most,” he says. “But I think saving time by not having to reinforce cabinetry and ease of installation will rank very high on the list — if not at the very top.”